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New name, same network: Pacers' TV partner FSI becomes Bally Sports Indiana
The game presentation will look and sound different, but the channel and on-air talent stay the same.
Pacers games on TV will have a new look and feel to them beginning Wednesday, March 31 with the telecast of Heat at Pacers. Fox Sports Indiana, the television home of the Pacers, has been rebranded to Bally Sports Indiana.
“This is the start of an exciting new chapter,” said Jack Donovan, general manager and senior vice president of Bally Sports Indiana. “We have a forward-looking vision for the future of live sports and engaging fans. But our commitment remains the same: deliver outstanding, in-depth coverage of our home teams, night in and night out.”
What changes: The traditional music bump to and from breaks is gone, replaced with a new music library. The color scheme is much different, going from navy/white/silver to red/white. There’s new artwork and graphics package, including a new score box rather than the ticker at the bottom of the screen. That will allow for more viewing space of game action. Additionally, there will be a new set used for the pregame, halftime and postgame show. It’s still in the lobby loft at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
This is the first major rebrand in 25 years for the network.
Same channels and viewing options: The channel number doesn’t change and the network is not suddenly available on streaming options such as YouTube TV and Hulu. Sinclair’s dispute with several popular TV providers, which I prepared you for before the season, still exists. So your options to watch Pacers games in central Indiana continue to be xfinity, AT&T, DirecTV and Spectrum.
In a time when TV ratings are mostly flat or down, Pacers games are up eight percent from last season, according to Nielsen. That is impressive, too, considering a portion of fans unable to watch on their streaming package.
Why is this happening: Almost 20 months ago, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, purchased regional networks, including FSI. In Nov. 2020, Bally’s became the naming rights partner for 19 regional sports networks (RSN). With the boom in sports gaming and competition for your business, companies like Bally’s have looked for creative ways to capture an audience. Former Colts punter Pat McAfee, now a media mogul, works exclusively with FanDuel. Barstool sold part of the company to Penn National.
So now Bally’s, which manages 11 casinos and has more in the works, including one in Evansville, replaces “Fox” on the RSNs.
Voices behind the game remain the same: No changes here. Chris Denari (15th season), Quinn Buckner (22nd) and Jeremiah Johnson (7th) are the three broadcasters on every Pacers telecast, all of which originate from inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season due to COVID-19.