TV Answer Man, the Bally bankruptcy situation has me worried. If they declare bankruptcy and stop doing the games, will they still be available on TV somehow? Could we lose all the games? — Neil, San Diego.
Neil, the regional sports network crisis has many fans anxious with Bally Sports possibly declaring bankruptcy next month and Warner Bros Discovery threatening to stop broadcasting games on their AT&T-named RSNs by the end of March.
If one or both occur, does this mean that the games will no longer be available on the same services that carry them now?
The good news is that the commissioners of all three affected leagues (NBA, NHL and MLB) say they are prepared to take the broadcasts in-house if necessary.
“For that period of time, we will have in place arrangements, if necessary, to continue to distribute those games to fans. So I think that’s what’s most important,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters recently, according to the Dallas Morning News.
More good news is that Diamond Sports, a Sinclair unit that operates the 19 Bally Sports channels, appears interested in continuing the broadcasts under a new financial arrangement with its creditors, including the leagues and their teams.
And do you want even more good news? Sports Business Journal reports today that MLB is already discussing new carriage arrangements with pay TV operators in case Warner Bros. Discovery delivers on its threat.
Bottom line: The games, at least most of them, if not all, will likely be available via the TV provider of your choice regardless of who’s doing the broadcasts.
Neil, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann