By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

Diamond Sports, the owner of 18 Bally Sports regional sports networks, has agreed to make its regular payment to the Cincinnati Reds, according to a report from ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez..

The RSN company, which declared bankruptcy in March, had to make the payment to the Reds by July 15. If the payment was not made by then, Diamond Sports would forfeit the right to air the Reds games which would lead to Major League Baseball taking over the broadcasts.

But ESPN’s Gonzalez tweets that Diamond Sports has decided to keep the Reds games.

“Diamond Sports Group plans to make its next scheduled payment to the Reds and will thus keep them as part of the Bally Sports umbrella for the foreseeable future,” he wrote this afternoon.

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 by one game over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

Diamond Sports now must make a decision on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The company filed a motion in bankruptcy court to reject the MLB team’s agreement, but later filed another motion to postpone a hearing on that request. Diamond Sports said then it was in “positive’ negotiations to continue broadcasting the Arizona games.

The New York Post reported this week that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, a frequent critic of Diamond Sports, is threatening to veto a new deal with the Diamondbacks because it would be more favorable to the RSN (regional sports networks) company.

In related news, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns announced it can now go forward with its new broadcasting deal with Gray Television because Diamond Sports opted to drop its objection, according to Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand.

Diamond Sports objected to the Suns portion of the deal, saying it had the right to match the Gray offer under a provision in its expired agreement with the basketball team. The Suns and the RSN company, which is trying to reorganize in bankruptcy court as a profitable unit, was ordered by bankruptcy court Judge Chris Lopez to negotiate a settlement.

Ourand reports that Diamond Sports has now dropped its opposition, paving the way for the Suns and Gray to begin implementing their plan.

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— Phillip Swann