By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, is there anything new with the Bally Sports and Diamond Sports situation? I haven’t seen anything on your site lately about them. Are more teams losing their deals, etc. etc. etc.? — Henry, New Haven, Connecticut.
Henry, as you know, Diamond Sports, the owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks, declared bankruptcy last March and is in the middle of a reorganization to become a profitable company. As part of that effort, the company has ended its TV deals with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks and opted out of an agreement with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns after that team signed a new TV contract with Gray Television. Diamond Sports also terminated its pact with Raycom to carry that network’s ACC college football and basketball games.

The big question several weeks ago was whether Diamond Sports would reject more MLB teams prior to the end of the 2023 season. But the company said last month that it planned to make all payments to the 12 MLB teams it still broadcasts on Bally Sports so there would be no further disruptions this season. And to reinforce that point, the Dallas Morning News reported this week that Diamond Sports recently made its final 2023 season payment to the Texas Rangers so Bally Sports Southwest will continue to air the Rangers games this season.

You might think that things are calming down for Diamond Sports, but au contraire. This company doesn’t do calm. Diamond Sports disclosed in court documents this week that it has sued its parent company, Sinclair, for allegedly fraudulently withdrawing as much as $1.5 billion from the company. (Sinclair set up Diamond Sports as a separate unit last March when the bankruptcy was filed.)

“Throughout this entire period of precipitous decline, Sinclair unrelentingly continued to carry out its plan to ‘milk’ Diamond for Sinclair’s own benefit and to extract whatever value it could salvage before Diamond’s inevitable bankruptcy,” Diamond Sports states in the court document.

Sinclair is denying the allegation and it’s unclear how the lawsuit will affect Diamond Sports’ bankruptcy plan and its effort to keep as many MLB, NHL and NBA TV deals as possible. As part of the latter, Diamond Sports has also asked the court for a mediator to help with its negotiations with the leagues and other creditors. The NHL last week threatened to petition the court to end its team deals with Diamond Sports unless the company can assure the league that it will make all payments to NHL teams for the upcoming 2023-34 season.

Bottom line: If you think you’re having a busy day, you don’t know busy. Try working for Diamond Sports.

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— Phillip Swann