By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

Diamond Sports, which owns and operates 19 Bally Sports regional sports networks, wants to reduce the fees it pays to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins, according to a new article from The Athletic.

The publication reports that Diamond has disclosed its plans in a new filing in bankruptcy court. Diamond declared bankruptcy last month due to the declining revenues of the Bally Sports RSNs.

The Athletic writes that Diamond has already stopped paying the three teams although it continues to broadcast their games. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has notified the court that, as early as tomorrow, the league will seek to take back the TV rights to any team that fails to receive its payment from Diamond.

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The article adds that MLB and the teams are objecting to Diamond’s request for reduced payments, saying it has no right to do so.

The Diamondbacks filed a motion, the Athletic reports, demanding that Diamond pay it in full or terminate the contract to carry the team’s games. Diamond has missed the last payment to the Arizona team, but this was done prior to the bankruptcy filing which puts it in a different and more complicated legal category than the payments to the Guardians and Twins.

Diamond is arguing that the current contracts of the three teams should be modified to reflect the shrinking revenues caused by lower carriage fees from cable and satellite operators who have lost subscribers due to cord-cutting and rising programming costs.

It’s unclear how this new skirmish will play out, but The Athletic quotes one bankruptcy attorney as saying Diamond could win the argument in court.

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— Phillip Swann