Now it is official: Fox Sports Detroit has announced that it will air all 37 regular-season games in the Pistons’ first-half schedule as well as three of the team’s four preseason games. That is all very well for cable tv and satellite package subscribers. Lovers of sports wagering will have no problem either: have a look here to find information on the best sportsbooks available. But streaming FSD will be a more complicated matter this season.
Detroit cord-cutters were shocked when YouTube TV announced that from Oct. 1st, subscribers would lose access to Fox Sports Detroit and other regional networks. The reason given was the failure to reach an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group, the parent company of nineteen Fox regional sports networks. The channels had been dropped earlier too, but last March a deal had been worked out, lasting until the end of September. “This was a difficult decision made after months of negotiation,” YouTube TV commented on Twitter. “We hope we can bring FOX RSNs back in the future.”
Then came the second blow, when Hulu announced that it would stop streaming FSD from Oct. 23rd. “While we were unable to reach an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to continue offering channels like your Fox Sports RSNs, YES Network, and Marquee Network, the good news is that you will continue to have access to a wide variety of sports from other popular channels including ESPN, TNT, and TBS, as well as FS1 and FS2.” At the moment, the only streaming plan available carrying Fox Sports Detroit is the much more expensive AT&T TV Now Max plan for $80/month. Compared to $55 for Hulu+ and $ 65 for YouTube Tv, it is a tall bill. Cord cutters will have to weigh if the deal is worth their money.
Here is what Pistons’ fans are getting from FSN. The preseason opener against the New York Knicks airs on Dec. 11th at 7 p.m. The beginning of the regular season is on Dec. 23rd against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The preseason finale against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 19th will not be broadcasted. On Mar. 2nd, the Pistons will play against the Toronto Raptors in the final game of the first half. The schedule for the second half of the season is not available yet.
FSN is bringing back the broadcast team of George Blaha and Greg Kelser. Grant Long and Tim McCormick will take care of the live analysis of the Pistons games. The role of sideline reporters and hosts for game coverage has been assigned to Johnny Kane and Mickey York. “We are all ecstatic to have basketball back,” said Greg Hammaren, senior vice president/general manager of Fox Sports Detroit, in a press release. “The Pistons certainly created a buzz at the Draft and in free agency. Watching this season unfold is something we’re very excited about. FSD is fully committed to delivering Pistons fans some of the best content throughout the NBA this season.”