The Death of the Regional Sports Network

The Death of the Regional Sports Network

The Death of the Regional Sports Network

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In the shadows of the sports world, a seismic change is taking place. The way you will be viewing sports won’t be the same. The Regional Sports Network has long been the only game in town if you wanted to watch your local teams play live (at least for MLB, NBA and NHL). However, over the past few years, a combination of factors have led to the acceleration of the inevitable forces of upheaval. The RSN is dying, and the NBA, NHL, and MLB are devising plans to make sure live broadcasts of local games can still go on (especially in the Colorado/Utah/Las Vegas, Houston, and Pittsburgh markets).

This is a topic where a lot of people may not know what it takes to broadcast a game on the air (from equipment to personnel to the dreaded rights fees the RSN’s have to pay), so consider this video as a lesson on the situation at hand, and what may become of these broadcasts in the future.

The hint is that they aren’t going away. The leagues will do everything in their power to make sure you can watch their games. .


  1. I hate that Bally Sports removes & relegate pro sports broadcasts to an app that's barely functional while airing poker on their cable feed. The TV listings on cable rarely reflect what's actually airing. This is especially bad when I want watch Kings/Ducks live but instead get Poker Night or infomercials.

  2. there will be bankruptcies in the nhl and mlb teams because of this. the nhl is the number 5 sport behind the mls now. nobody watches the nhl no one will pay 20 dollars a month to watch. the mlb small teams are in trouble they will never make up the overpriced sports contracts they signed. they could get fans at 5 dollars a month. but no where what they were being paid. espn is also in big trouble they overpaid on sports contracts. when they go full streaming the company will collapse. the same for the news networks. nobody watches them people will not pay.

  3. Tbh all these leagues should just copy and paste what the nfl is doing. Like name me one show on local television people go crazy for. I can only think of one and that’s it. I feel like MLB, NHL, and NBA should just have their games shown on local television.

  4. As an abstraction, spending locally is a virtue. However, these networks cannot die quick enough. In practice, they exist only to bully people into buying an overpriced cable package. The local fan is obligated to stream online unofficially to accelerate their demise. These parasites deserve none of your money, and your team should feel the pain for signing a deal with them.

  5. Oh my gosh. Not only is this a wonderful breakdown, but the Donkey Kong ost at the end flooded me with beautiful nostalgia.

  6. Each league should just have their own streaming app. RSNs are just middle people that aren't necessary in the streaming era.

  7. It’d never happen but I’d love to see these games moved back to OTA broadcasting. It’s working great for the NFL and college football. Just get an antenna.

  8. while it is comforting knowing that my teams' network (Root Sports Northwest) is fine, it's still super intriguing to know what's going on with the other teams.

    also, thx for the birthday shout-out to Chuck

  9. MSG has been great for me as a Sabres fan, YES/SNY are available for baseball season, and MSG/YES provides Knicks/Nets coverage on top of it. Feel terrible for the AT&T/Bally crowd.

  10. Currently out so haven't watched this yet but I do have to say one of the worst experiences with regional markets has to be living, literally living, in New Jersey and not being able to watch the literal NEW JERSEY Devils play.

    I get that living in south jersey means we are technically a philly market, but holy shit guys.

  11. I really appreciate this video, and I think you should do more videos about these kinds of general business/social issues in sports aside from covering what actually goes on on the field/court/ice. You‘re a smart guy and have a lot to offer here.

  12. You mentioned the O’s and Nats owning MASN. Actually it’s the O’s. The Nats get terrible revenues from MASN but that was part of the deal for Peter Angelos to let the Nats into what he considered his territory.

  13. The only way out for the NHL is to renegotiate the CBA. I'm pretty sure the owners will argue to lower the salary cap. There are only so many digital ads you can plaster on-screen until it becomes overwhelming. It's already drove many fans away.

    Major league sports have been overvalued for years, it's time it reflects the actual viewership numbers. There will be short term pain and possibly another lockout. But its the only way.

  14. Great video about the impact of a collapsing TV deal. I wonder what implications this would have for the franchise and the sports clubs.

    Bring from the UK, we had a similar TV deal collapse in football (soccer) which almost obliterated most clubs. Set them back years and some local clubs went bust.

    On a side note, I can't help but feel and hear a sonic level ost in the video. Wondering where it came from.

  15. Don't forget Comcast is also doing this to NYR/NJ/NYI/BUF fans because they are in Year 2 of their dispute with MSG and we haven't had them on TV.

  16. You called it. "Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair subsidiary that controls the regional sports networks for 42 teams across Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association, announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday night, three days before the end of a 30-day grace period it entered into with creditors." – ESPN

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