Diamond Sports, the bankrupt owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks, has reached an agreement with the NBA to continue broadcasting the games of 15 league teams for the remainder of the 2023-24 season, according to court documents and a league statement. The deal must still be approved by the judge presiding in the Diamond Sports bankruptcy case, but that is highly likely. The RSN company, which declared bankruptcy last March, is trying to reorganize as a profitable unit.
What Are the 15 NBA Teams On Bally Sports?
The NBA teams carried by Bally Sports are: the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs.
What Happens to Bally Sports Now?
Sports Business Journal reports that the agreement for all 15 teams will expire at the end of the season, but Diamond could negotiate a new pact for some teams at that time. The publication adds that the NBA agreed to a 16 percent reduction in the fees paid by Diamond Sports to carry the teams for the rest of this season. As part of the deal, SBJ writes, the teams have an option to sell 10 regular season games to a local broadcaster. Finally, the NBA can opt out if Diamond Sports fails to renew its carriage deal with Charter’s Spectrum TV in February 2024.
Is This Diamond Sports’ Last Hurrah?
The new NBA agreement allows Diamond Sports to continue its path to reorganization and seek similar arrangements with the NHL and MLB. The question, however, is what Diamond Sports will look like a year from now. Will the company seek new pacts with the NBA teams, and teams in other sports, or will it begin liquidation to satisfy existing and future creditors? The New York Post reports that Sinclair, the former owner of the RSN company, is interested in buying it again. How could that change Diamond’s strategy in the year ahead?
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