Do not adjust your television set: Fox Sports Detroit to change name ahead of Opening Day

Detroit Free Press

So long, Fox Sports Detroit. Well, so long to that name, at least.

Fox Sports Detroit, home to Detroit PistonsDetroit Red WingsDetroit Tigers and other local sports coverage, will be known as Bally Sports Detroit starting March 31 — the day before the Tigers’ Opening Day telecast. The deal has long been in the works but was recently confirmed by the network’s parent company, Sinclair.

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Fans will still be able to watch Tigers (and other teams’) games live on the Bally Sports app and on ballysports.com (with a cable or other pay-TV subscription), which are set to launch across several platforms March 31. The FOX Sports GO app will update and rebrand as the Bally Sports app the same day, according to a release from the company.

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No programming changes have been announced and Bally Sports Detroit is expected to still carry Pistons, Tigers and Wings games. Sinclair bought Fox Sports Detroit and its 20 sister regional sports networks from Disney in 2019. Naming rights for the RSNs in 2020 were sold to Bally’s Corp., which manages 10 casinos and multiple other betting centers. Two southern stations will close as part of the rebrand, and two other Sinclair markets, Cleveland and Los Angeles, will also adopt the Bally name.

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Fox Sports Detroit, launched in 1997, and other Fox offshoots were originally owned by 21st Century Fox Inc., but after the company merged with Walt Disney Corp., federal authorities forced the sale of the RSNs because of antitrust concerns. Sinclair had one year to find a new name for the networks under a license agreement with Fox, according to Bloomberg.

Follow the Free Press on Facebook and Twitter for more news. Tyler Davis can be contacted at tjdavis@freepress.com or on Twitter @TDavisFreep.

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