MLB to ‘step in’ if Diamonds Sports bankruptcy shuts down Brewers telecasts

MILWAUKEE — Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB will step in if Diamond Sports stops paying teams rights fees for the Brewers telecasts due to its bankruptcy case, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Diamond Sports Group, the company that broadcasts Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers games, filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection in March. The Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary operates “Bally Sports” and provides local television broadcasts for almost half of NBA, NHL, and MLB games.

According to BizJournal, Manfred said during a press conference at American Family Field last week, “I’m concerned about the RSN situation. We have 14 teams including the Brewers involved in the Diamond bankruptcy.”

Manfred said he hopes Diamond decides to live up to its “contractual obligation” and broadcast the games, “But if they don’t, we will step in and the games will be available both linear (cable) and digital.”

The BizJournal reports that the Brewers have retained attorneys in the bankruptcy case. The case is proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Texas.

As TMJ4 News previously reported, in its Chapter 11 petition, Diamond Sports listed assets and liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion each. Diamond

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What could a Bally Sports bankruptcy mean for RSNs’ team deals?

Diamond Sports, which operates the Bally Sports Regional Networks and its 19 channels, could soon file for bankruptcy protection. But if they do, that doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the RSN deals in place.

It’s become almost a parlor game predicting when the bankruptcy comes — “if” does not seem a necessary conjunction any longer — as the struggling RSN-empire staggers under steep losses generated by cord-cutting and debt from Sinclair’s mistimed 2019 acquisition of the sports media channels. A subsidiary of Sinclair, Diamond in November disclosed a $1.2 billion quarterly loss amid a 10 percent drop in subscribers.

Bloomberg diamond-faces-8-6-billion-debt-reckoning?sref=W6GJF3MS#xj4y7vzkg”last month reported, “Diamond will probably skip a mid-February $140 million interest-only payment servicing around $8.6 billion in debt as it prepares for a Chapter 11 restructuring.”

All this has led to predictions of gloom and doom for the 42 teams (14 MLB, 12 NHL, and 16 NBA) aired on the RSNs, with fears Diamond may walk away from those contracts amid bankruptcy. This has reverberated throughout the leagues and teams and led MLB reportedly into thus far unsuccessful talks to negotiate some type of a buyout of the RSNs.

Kawhi Leonard is interviewed by reporter
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