Let’s start with the good news.
Mavericks and Stars fans in the Dallas area will have a more affordable and direct way to watch Bally Sports Southwest telecasts of games this season after years of confusion and limited access to the broadcast.
With the Stars opening their regular season on Thursday and the Mavericks on Oct. 19, Dallas morning news has investigated how viewers can access their favorite teams’ games and whether the new Bally Sports+ platform will overcome the current conflict between broadcast rights and the availability of regional sports networks as the linear television landscape has evolved.
Now the not so good news:
It’s still cheaper to be a Mavericks fan watching broadcasts outside of the Dallas area, and the local headaches continue, according to a social media survey of about 100 Mavericks fans.
“My love for the Mavs came with Dirk, his love for his team and his championship run,” one replied via email. “Now my daughter feels the same way about Luka. So Mavs games are a must. I got the Bally’s app last season and [it] wouldn’t let me [watch] because I’m not a cable subscriber. Somehow, with all the magic these kids know how to do, he hacked into his grandma’s account, with the help of a cousin, and bam, we have the games on his phone that we have to stream to the TV. It’s horrible and embarrassing.”
Bally Sports+ could help solve that specific problem.
In an offering that owner Sinclair Broadcast Group debuted last month, fans living on the outskirts of the Dallas area can sign up for Bally Sports+ to access all of Bally Sports Southwest’s live content by signing in to the app or site. network website.
The standalone streaming option does not require another cable or streaming subscription and is available at two price points:
- $19.99 per month ($21.64 after taxes)
- $189.99 per year ($205.66 after taxes)
The Bally Sports+ subscription includes the option to watch all Mavericks, Stars and WNBA Wings games live, stream simultaneously on two devices and maintain access for up to 30 days when traveling outside of home territory.
But Bally Sports+ doesn’t offer a DVR-like option to record a live event and watch the start of the game before it ends and loads for a full replay, nor does it include one of Dallas’ top teams.
Are you also a fan of the Rangers?
Tough luck with Bally Sports+, at least for now.
Sinclair remains at an impasse regarding broadcast rights with most MLB teams using Bally Sports’ regional networks for their home broadcast operations.
The Bally Sports+ subscription serves as a $20+ a month single channel option, on top of what many will continue to pay for another complete streaming or cable service package with the most popular channels and programming.
Bally Sports Southwest isn’t yet available on YouTube TV, Hulu Live, or other popular streaming services, so a subscription to the few channels the channels offer (DirecTV Stream or the typical DirecTV and Spectrum cable options) might also be more. profitable, even at a higher monthly price.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban launched a partnership last season to discount DirecTV Stream subscriptions over $80 from fans, but he’s not worried about the price this year.
“We think the $20 a month during the season is fair,” Cuban said by email.
Regardless of the method, Mavericks fans outside of Dallas still have the most logical access.
NBA League Pass excludes all home market games, but offers those outside the Dallas region full access to Mavericks broadcasts on Bally Sports Southwest at three price points:
- $13.99 for single team monthly access.
- $14.99 for monthly access to the entire league with commercials on one device.
- $19.99 for monthly access to the entire league commercial-free on two devices.
“In these early days, prioritizing fan feedback and analyzing consumer habits is our top priority,” Bally Sports+ COO and General Manager Michael Schneider said in a statement. “[It] It will be a vital part of our growth as we continue to work closely with our team partners to raise awareness of this service among their respective fan bases.”
Local consumers considering a Bally Sports+ subscription noted the price difference.
About a third of the 100 Mavericks fans who participated in the survey about how they plan to watch games this season said they bought Bally Sports+, or plan to do so before the season opener on Oct. 19 against the Phoenix Suns.
Many others said they wouldn’t, often referencing the high price of a single channel, glitches in the app before the new subscription started, and Sinclair’s disapproval.
Whether some use VPNs to bypass local blackouts on NBA League Pass, share hacked links, or just tune in to all 30 national Mavericks broadcasts this season on ESPN, TNT, ABC or NBA TV, nearly everyone lamented the struggles of maintaining fandom. local.
“The Mavericks are such a nice team with a superstar nearing his prime,” wrote one, “and yet [lack of broadcast access] is creating an unnecessary roadblock for so many new potential Mavs fans IN DALLAS.”
Find more Mavericks coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.