In a somewhat expected move given the shaky situation surrounding Bally Sports, the San Diego Padres will no longer have games aired on the regional network. With that news now official, how can Padres fans watch the team moving forward? Here’s a look at what you need to know.
How to Watch the Padres
For those out of the loop, Bally Sports owned the rights to air San Diego Padres — a team laden with stars like Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Yu Darvish, among others — games for the 2023 season. However, Bally Sports’ owner Diamond Sports Group entered bankruptcy earlier in the year, thus leaving the future of the telecasts in serious doubts.
On May 30, ESPN broke the news that Diamond Sports Group will not make its next scheduled rights fee payment to the Padres. That will trigger the Padres’ ability to exit its deal with Bally.
Moving forward, there will be several options to watch San Diego Padres. One option is directly through MLB.TV. Up to June 4, MLB.TV will broadcast Padres game for free via the service’s app. From that point forward, individuals will have to pay either $19.99/month of $74.99 per year to watch Padres games on the service without blackout restrictions.
If one already has MLB.TV, we should note that a subscription to that only covers out-of-market games. To watch the Padres in market via MLB.TV, you would need to pay the aforementioned fee.
To offset some of the risk of this strategy, the league has also reportedly struck deals with several cable and satellite companies, including DirectTV, U-Verse, COX, and Spectrum, to air Padres games on different channels (h/t ESPN).
There’s been some talk in recent months that the league has been interested in offering a direct-to-consumer streaming service to broadcast games without blackout restrictions. The Padres will be the test for what appears to MLB’s strategy to do this. And with the issues that have engulfed Bally Sports, the Padres may not be the only team to have games broadcast directly to MLB.TV in market.