Many Royals fans — as well as baseball fans in other major-league markets across the U.S. — spent the weeks leading up to Thursday’s season opener at Kauffman Stadium angry about current broadcast options.
Bally Sports Kansas City, formerly known as Fox Sports Kansas City, is unavailable on many streaming platforms after its parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, failed to reach a carriage agreement for its regional sports network with YouTubeTV, Sling and Hulu among other streaming-only platforms.
But the problems went deeper for Opening Day as Bally Sports KC reported issues with Google Fiber and Cox, which is among the largest cable providers for the Wichita market.
Shortly before the first pitch Thursday between the Royals and Rangers, Bally Sports KC announced a channel change for the game on Google Fiber.
Google Fiber subscribers: We're told that Google Fiber is showing the Royals game on 206, Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, instead of 205.— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) April 1, 2021
You can also stream the game on FOX Sports GO: https://t.co/53aTljG1U4.
We'll continue to work with Google to resolve.
Cox customers were only seeing a blank screen.
Cord-cutters have lamented the fact that fans without satellite or cable TV service are boxed out from seeing Royals games in the Kansas City market.
Major League Baseball’s streaming service prevents local fans from watching the games for the home-market team.
Bally Sports plans to roll out an over-the-top, direct-to-customer streaming option in 2022, but that still leaves many without access to Royals broadcast this year — unless they add satellite or cable service, which includes the channel in its lineup.