By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Diamond Sports, the owner of 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks, yesterday filed a motion with a Texas bankruptcy court to end its agreement to broadcast ACC games from Raycom, including college football and basketball. The contract was not scheduled to expire until after college basketball’s 2026-2027 season.
The RSN company, which declared bankruptcy in March, is reviewing which TV rights contracts to keep as it seeks to reorganize as a profitable unit. The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that Diamond Sports will make its next regular payment to the Texas Rangers, keeping that agreement in place at least for the remainder of the 2023 season.
In the next four weeks, the company will also need to make payments to the Minnesota Twins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians and Cincinnati Reds or decide to end agreements with one or more.
Diamond Sports says in its filing on ending the Raycom deal that it did not make a payment to the company prior to the March bankruptcy filing.
“Since that time, the Debtors (Diamond Sports) have continued to review their rights agreement portfolio and determined that the Raycom agreement and associated rights do not fit within the Debtors’ go-forward business strategy,” Diamond tells the court.
The decision should be welcomed by Raycom which Diamond says asked it to end the agreement so it could search for another broadcasting partner.
“Recently, Raycom requested that the Debtors promptly reject the Raycom agreement so that Raycom could initiate the process of seeking a new partner for broadcasting future ACC events,” the Diamond Sports states. “The parties’ respective counsel have worked closely with one another in preparing this motion, and Raycom supports the relief requested in this motion.”
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— Phillip Swann