By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I keep reading about Diamond Sports having to pay the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers and the Twins and Guardians. But what about all the other teams like the Braves, for example. Don’t they have to pay them, too? — Gerald, Decatur, Georgia.

Gerald, that’s a great question. Diamond Sports, the owner of 18 Bally Sports channels, declared bankruptcy last March and has since had to decide whether to make its regular payment to a handful of MLB teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers.

Thus far, it has only rejected the agreements with the Padres and Diamondbacks, although it’s still possible it will work out a new deal with the Arizona team.

But what about the eight other MLB teams, and the 15 NBA and 12 NHL teams, that Diamond Sports carries on its Bally Sports channels. Don’t they have to make payments to them, too?

Yes, but there’s a few major differences between the rest of the teams and the ones that have been mentioned recently in media reports. The biggest difference is that Diamond Sports is making money from most of the other teams.

For instance, there’s little doubt that the Atlanta Braves agreement is a winner so there’s no reason for Diamond Sports to end it or even contemplate doing so. Consequently, you don’t see any articles speculating whether the company will pay the Braves or jettison the deal. Diamond Sports wants to emerge from bankruptcy as a profitable unit and the Braves deal will help make that happen.

Another significant difference is that Diamond Sports has in-market streaming deals with five MLB teams — the Royals, Rays, Tigers, Marlins and Brewers. — and all the NBA and NHL teams. This enables Diamond to offer their games to cord-cutters on the Bally Sports Plus, a service that the company believes will enable it to survive and thrives in the years to come as cable and satellite subscriptions continue to fall. Diamond Sports would be crazy to end agreements with those teams after getting the streaming rights.

Bottom line: At this point, Diamond Sports is only seriously considering exiting from a fraction of its agreements, although some media reports might suggest otherwise.

Gerald, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann