By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I’ve been following your coverage of the regional sports networks and found it to be very informative. Thank you. Now my question. What is next for Diamond Sports? Are they done with the payments they need to make? — Sam, Chicago.

Sam, Diamond Sports, which declared bankruptcy in March, has had a busy spring and early summer. The owner of 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks has been evaluating which team contracts to keep and which ones to jettison.

Thus far, Diamond Sports has only rejected one team agreement – the one with MLB’s San Diego Padres. Major League Baseball stepped in the next day (May 31) and began broadcasting the Padres games.

The RSN company has made its regularly scheduled payments to the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Cleveland Guardians, according to multiple news reports. Diamond did file a motion to reject the Arizona Diamondbacks deal, but soon amended that request in bankruptcy court to say it was engaged in ‘positive’ discussions with the team to continue broadcasting their games.

The company also ended its agreement with Raycom to air ACC games.

After all that paperwork and calculations, you would think the Diamond Sports business and legal teams could head to the beach for a while, right?

Wrong. First, the Diamondbacks situation has to be resolved. And second, Diamond Sports has yet another payment coming up, to the Cincinnati Reds on July 15. The Reds decision is a bit different because the team has a minority stake in the Bally Sports channel that carries their games.

Last April, the Reds would have been a strong candidate for an agreement termination. But the team has become the surprise of baseball thanks in part to the exciting rookie infielder Elly de la Cruz. Cincinnati is in first place in the NL Central and it would seem to be a slam dunk, to mix sporting metaphors, for Diamond Sports to keep the team’s deal intact.

But you never know.

As always, the TV Answer Man will monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes.

Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann