By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I read your article on the Rangers and teams that could lose their broadcasting deals with Bally Sports. But what about our Reds? Will they lose the broadcasts, too? — Todd, Blue Ash, Ohio. 

Todd, Diamond Sports, which declared bankruptcy in March, notified the bankruptcy court last week that it is considering ending its TV rights deals with more teams. The company, which owns 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks, dropped the rights to the San Diego Padres games on May 30 when it decided to stop paying the team. Major League Baseball took over the broadcasts, starting with the team’s May 31 game against the Miami Marlins.

In the next month, the RSN firm needs to make rights payments to at least five teams: Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Guardians, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Under the bankruptcy law, Diamond Sports could decide to reject any or all of those contracts.

Court documents show that the next Rangers payment is scheduled tomorrow, June 15, which means Diamond will have to make a decision on Texas in the next 24 hours. Sports Business Journal reports that the payments to the Twins, Guardians and Diamondbacks are due on July 1 while the Reds money is due on July 15.

There’s no indication yet that Diamond will dump one or all of the contracts. And the Reds situation is different from the four other teams because the team has an equity stake in the Bally Sports Ohio channel that airs the games. But whether this will influence Diamond’s decision is unclear.

The Reds and Major League Baseball have said they are prepared to do the broadcasts themselves if Diamond Sports backs out. (This is the case with the other teams as well.) But it would appear that it will be at least a month before we know if that’s necessary.

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

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— Phillip Swann