Back in February, I wrote about the upcoming rebranding of FOX Sports and FOX Sports South, a naming-rights change that was originally announced back on January 27th.
Older story… but interesting nonetheless @SportsTalkATL
Braves: Bally's to replace Fox Sports starting in 2021 https://t.co/opVjIHByMf via @SportsTalkATL
— Clint Manry (@clint_manry) February 17, 2021
At the time of my post last month, many of the details were still unknown.
However, significant updates were released on Wednesday as casino operator Bally Sports is set to rename TV’s home for Atlanta sports on March 31st, the eve of the Braves 2021 regular season opener against the Phillies. FOX Sports will become Bally Sports, while FOX Sports Southeast’s new name will become Bally Sports Southeast.
Fortunately, the naming-rights change doesn’t seem to impact Braves Country’s ability to watch Atlanta play this season (although contract disputes from last fall have left YouTube TV and Hulu+ subscribers screwed). According to Tim Tucker at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a whopping 155 games will be televised on the two regional networks, roughly split down the middle.
The following is an excerpt from Tucker’s report on Wednesday…
“The 155 telecasts of Braves games will be split between the two networks, with 81 games on Bally Sports South (BSSO) and 74 on Bally Sports Southeast (BSSE).”
And for all you Braves die-hards out there planning to watch all 162 games in 2021, the other seven games not included in the regional package above are slated to air on national TV, starting on April 11th when Atlanta faces Philadelphia on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Additionally, the Braves April 18th matchup with the Cubs will also air on ESPN, with the five remaining national games to be announced later.
Tucker also relays that Atlanta’s broadcasting crew will remain intact and unchanged by the rebranding. Chip Caray will continue his play-by-play duties, and Jeff Francoeur and Tom Glavine will continue to provide in-game analysis. Kelly Crull, Paul Byrd, Jerome Jurenovich, Brian Jordan, Nick Green and Peter Moylan will also maintain their usual roles as well in 2021.
Wednesday’s news regarding FOX’s transition to Bally Sports is certainly a welcoming sign, as initially there was some uncertainty as to what sort of specific changes would occur. It appears, other than getting used to a new logo and perhaps some minor details, watching an Atlanta Braves game on TV (or any of the other Atlanta sports) will go as it always has. And that… is good news.
Stay tuned to SportsTalkATL as more information emerges from the FOX/Bally rebrand. Apparently, over time, Bally plans to include numerous in-game gambling features in its broadcast, though actual details haven’t been announced.
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