By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres gone, what will happen to the other MLB teams that Bally Sports has. Will they get rid of any more teams this year? — Gary, Dallas. 

Gary, a bankruptcy court yesterday approved Diamond Sports’ request to end its agreement to broadcast the Arizona Diamondbacks games on Bally Sports Arizona. This is the second MLB team contract that the RSN company has jettisoned since last March when it declared bankruptcy. On May 30, it ended its pact with the San Diego Padres, allowing Major League Baseball to take over the broadcasts the next day. (MLB also began doing the Diamondbacks games last night.)

Diamond Sports, which owns the Bally Sports regional sports networks, is trying to reorganize as a profitable company. In addition to the two MLB teams, it has terminated its contract with Raycom to carry ACC games and it opted out of the deal with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

Will the company let more contracts go? Specifically, will Diamond Sports abandon more MLB agreements during the 2023 season? The company does have another rights fee deadline coming up with the Cleveland Guardians on August 1.

Diamond Sports yesterday issued a statement following the judge’s rejection order that should put to rest talk that more teams will be rejected this season:

“We are continuing to broadcast games for all other teams under contract without disruption and we anticipate making all rights payments to the remainder of the MLB teams in our portfolio through the end of this season,” the company said.

Of course, the company might find reason to reverse course before the season is over. But with just 10 weeks left in the 2023 campaign, it would appear that there will be no more MLB rejections this season. And that means that MLB will only broadcast the games of two MLB teams for the remainder of the year.

What happens in 2024 is another story, however, with Diamond Sports facing more challenges this fall.

Gary, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann