Bally’s Corp. has acquired naming rights to 21 of the regional sports networks purchased last year by Sinclair Broadcast Group, part of the gambling operator’s wider push into the rapidly-expanding U.S. sports betting market.
Under the ten-year deal, Bally’s content will be integrated into the 190 television stations that Sinclair owns or operates, plus its sports properties, such as the RSNs, Tennis Channel and Stadium. The deal was announced after the close of trading on Wednesday night.
Sinclair will receive warrants to purchase 14.9% of Bally’s shares, plus warrants to purchase up to another 10% based off various performance metrics. It will also have the option to purchase another 5% through pre-set prices, and receive a naming rights fee that the New York Post reported would be worth a total of $85 million. Bally’s closed Wednesday with a market cap of $933 million.
The agreement is one of two major business dealings that Bally’s announced on Wednesday. The other was a pact to acquire sports betting platform Bet.Works for $125 million, half of which will be paid in Bally’s stock. That deal expands Bally’s tech capabilities, while the Sinclair tie-up will give it a national marketing platform.
“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports betting, gaming and media industries,” Soo Kim, chair of the Bally’s board, said in a statement. “Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings, and ultimately deliver significant shareholder value.”
The Bally’s name was purchased by Twin River Worldwide Holdings last month. Twin River then rebranded itself as Bally’s Corp., a company that owns and manages 10 casinos across six states.
The deal provides important returns for Sinclair, which paid $9.8 billion for the RSNs last year, just a few months before COVID-19 disrupted the entire U.S. sports calendar. Sinclair hasn’t been able to monetize the networks as much as expected, recently writing down their value by $4.23 billion.
The naming rights do not include the YES Network (New York Yankees) or Marquee Network (Chicago Cubs), two networks that Sinclair co-owns.