By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
The NBA believes that Diamond Sports, the bankrupt owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks, has the resources and commitment to broadcast the games of 15 NBA teams throughout the 2023-24 season, according to a new article from The Athletic. However, the publication writes that sources say the league is prepared to broadcast games itself if Diamond Sports suddenly decides to terminate a team contract, as it did earlier this year for MLB’s San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. “(The) NBA has also begun working on contingency plans in case there are any issues or that expectation (that Diamond will keep doing the games) does not pan out once the regular season begins Oct. 24,” the article says.

Diamond Sports declared bankruptcy last March with the intent to reorganize as a profitable company. As part of that effort, the company has been evaluating each team contract to determine if it will be profitable now and in the years ahead. Diamond Sports has the rights to carry the games of 15 NBA teams, 12 NHL teams and 12 MLB teams. If the company jettisoned an NBA team’s contract, as it can under bankruptcy law, the league would offer a streaming option for fans in that market, The Athletic reports. In addition, the NBA would create a new channel for cable and satellite operators.

Unlike MLB, which has opposed various Diamond Sports’ legal motions during its bankruptcy reorganization, the NBA has not been openly confrontational towards the RSN company in the hopes that it will continue broadcasting the games with the current payment structure.
“(The) NBA wants to make it through this upcoming season with its RSN contracts, and payments, intact. But nothing is guaranteed,” The Athletic writes.

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— Phillip Swann