Looks like the Detroit Tigers are finally free of their old agreement with Bally Sports Detroit, formerly Fox Sports Detroit. Evan Petzold of the Free Press reports that both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings have reached multi-year extension agreements with the regional sports network.
While this has yet to be formerly announced, sources told the Free Press that an announcement would soon be forthcoming. Whether we’ll get the terms and value of the deal is unclear, but considering past experience, it’s unlikely those details will ever be formerly revealed to the public.
One of the reasons often cited as contributing to limitations in the Tigers’ spending power in recent years has been the outdated terms of their previous long-term television broadcast deal. Signed way back in 2007, the deal’s terms saw the Tigers receiving diminishing returns in comparison to other teams of similar market size as it went on. As recently as 2018, the Ilitch organization was even exploring the possibility of starting its own regional sports network to broadcast their teams’ games. That concept apparently never went very far. The updated agreement should give the organization added spending power, which hopefully they will bring to bear on the Tigers’ roster.
However, in news that will be less appetizing for many, Bally Sports Detroit seems content with their broadcast team and is not contemplating changes at this time. The Red Wings broadcast team is well loved, but the Tigers’ group has been far less well received since Matt Shepherd took over as play-by-play announcer back in 2018. Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris, along with Dan Petry, are also expected to return as the network’s analysts.
Good news for the Ilitch organization. Hopefully good news for the Tigers’ payroll. However, for those who aren’t fans of the broadcast crew, or who simply can’t get Bally Sports Detroit from their providers, the news is less than ideal.