By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I read the post about the Minnesota Twins staying on Bally Sports North but what about Cleveland Guardians? Didn’t they have a deadline last week, too? — Tim, Westlake, Ohio.
Tim, Diamond Sports, which declared bankruptcy in March, had until July 1 to make its regular quarterly payments to both the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians. If they didn’t make the payments, it’s likely the company, which runs the 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks, would seek to end their broadcasting agreements with one or both teams.
The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reports that Diamond Sports paid the Twins on time so it will broadcast their games at least for the remainder of the season. But what about its AL Central rival, the Guardians? Did Cleveland get paid?
As of this morning, the Guardians and Diamond Sports have not commented on the matter. We do know two things, however:
1. Diamond Sports has not filed a motion in bankruptcy court to reject the Guardians contract or a request to postpone the payment.
2. The company has been broadcasting the Guardians games since the July 1 deadline.
What does this tell us?
1. It’s possible that the July 1 deadline includes a short ‘grace period’ during which Diamond Sports could still make the payment without penalty. In the past with other teams, the grace period has been 10 or 15 days.
2. It’s also possible that Diamond Sports made the payment and that neither the RSN firm nor the team has revealed that publicly. The Twins didn’t say anything publicly, either. The news came from the Star-Tribune report, quoting sources.
3. It’s even possible that the bankruptcy court hasn’t yet posted a motion from Diamond Sports to reject the Guardians contract because of the extended July 4 weekend. I doubt that one because the court did file a few other trivial motions on Monday.
Bottom line: As of now, it would appear that Diamond Sports’ agreement with the Guardians is intact, and that the company’s Bally Sports channel will continue broadcasting the team’s games indefinitely. The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything changes.
Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann