By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
Diamond Sports, which declared bankruptcy last March, today filed an emergency motion in bankruptcy court to terminate its contract to carry the Arizona Diamondbacks on Bally Sports Arizona as soon as June 30.
The move will likely result in Major League Baseball taking over the broadcasts, as it did when Diamond Sports last month rejected its agreement to carry the San Diego Padres games.
The new motion, which was filed today, says the company’s agreement with the Diamondbacks extends through December 31, 2035. But Diamond Sports says it’s requesting to terminate it, as permitted under bankruptcy law, because it would “lose significant sums” if it does not.
Diamond Sports was scheduled to make its next quarterly payment to the Diamondbacks on July 1, 2023.
“The Debtors (Diamond Sports) have determined, in their business judgment, that the Diamondbacks Agreement is unnecessary and burdensome to the Debtors’ estates and should be rejected,” the motion states. “The Debtors lose significant amounts under the Diamondbacks Agreement, and thus have determined that the Diamondbacks
Agreement no longer fits within the Debtors’ longer-term plan.”
Since the filing last March, Diamond Sports has been reviewing which contracts it should keep as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy as a profitable company. Diamond earlier this month ended its agreement with Raycom to carry ACC games.
The company also has payments upcoming with the Minnesota Twins (July 1), Cleveland Guardians (July 1) and Cincinnati Reds (July 15.).
There has been no comment from Major League Baseball or the Diamondbacks on this new motion. Diamond Sports says in its filing that the Diamondbacks have been aware of its intention for some time.
“The Diamondbacks have been aware for months of the potential rejection of the Diamondbacks
Agreement, and indeed they sought in early April to compel the Debtors to make the decision to
assume or reject the agreement immediately. The time period between the filing of this Motion and the effective date of rejection (June 30, 2023) gives the parties sufficient time to facilitate an appropriate transition to avoid disruption to fans,” the motion states.
The TV Answer Man will update this story if we get more information.
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— Phillip Swann