By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, when is the next shoe to drop for the Diamond Sports MLB situation? Will they drop more teams this month? — Ben, Kansas City.

Ben, this is a big week for Diamond Sports and Major League Baseball. Let me explain.

Diamond Sports, which declared bankruptcy in March, owns 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSN) as a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcasting. The company is evaluating its TV deals to determine which teams it should continue to carry as it attempts to reorganize as a profitable unit. (Diamond Sports has the regional TV rights to 13 MLB teams, 12 NHL teams and 15 or 16 NBA teams, the number depending upon a legal challenge the company has filed against the Phoenix Suns.)

As part of that process, Diamond Sports last week requested in bankruptcy court to terminate its agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks, saying it would lose “significant sums” if it does not. The judge is expected to rule on the request by this Friday, June 30.

Diamond Sports filed a similar motion on May 30 to reject the San Diego Padres agreement and it was approved. Major League Baseball took over the Padres broadcasts. If the Diamondbacks pact is also voided, Major League Baseball would likely begin broadcasting its games as well. (Diamond Sports has also filed a motion to reject its agreement with Raycom for ACC broadcasts.)

But the Diamondbacks contract isn’t the only major issue on Diamond Sports’ plate this week. The company must make its regular quarterly payments by Saturday, July 1, to two teams: the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians. (The Cincinnati Reds are owed its payment by July 15.)

Diamond Sports could reject one or both deals this week. Company bankruptcy filings suggest both agreements are more likely to be profitable than the Diamondbacks deal but Minnesota and Cleveland are in relatively small markets and that could influence the decision.

As the Diamondbacks filing showed, a decision on either team could come at any point this week. The TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant happens.

Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann