By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –Follow on X.
Former editor of Satellite DIRECT magazine. Reported on DIRECTV for 30 years.

The legal battle between DIRECTV and the beleaguered RSN (regional sports network) company, Diamond Sports, will be the focus of a January 24 hearing in a Texas bankruptcy court, according to court documents filed yesterday.

Diamond Sports filed a motion in the bankruptcy court last October to compel DIRECTV to pay for past carriage fees that Diamond says DIRECTV owes it for carrying San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games.

The company, which owns the Bally Sports regional sports networks, and declared bankruptcy last March, alleges that DIRECTV stopped paying the fees after Diamond in the summer of 2023 ended its agreements to broadcast the Padres and Diamondbacks games.

However, Diamond Sports says its contract with DIRECTV required it to continue paying the carriage fees for the two MLB teams even though Diamond Sports didn’t provide their games. Diamond Sports is asking the court to force DIRECTV to pay the fees as well as damages.

DIRECTV last October issued a statement saying, “When DSG (Diamond Sports Group) ceases to carry a team, they seem to think we should continue to pay them for the right, even as we need to pay the new rights holders to ensure continued transmission to our subscribers. That makes no sense, and it is not how our agreements with DSG work.”

Since filing the DIRECTV motion, Diamond Sports has been renegotiating contracts with MLB, the NHL and the NBA to continue broadcasting team games in 2024. (Diamond Sports has held the regional TV rights to roughly three dozen NBA, NHL and MLB teams.)

It’s likely that the company will retain the regional TV rights for the three leagues this year but it’s unclear if they will continue to do so after 2024. The company is still working on an reorganization effort to become profitable after bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Amazon could help this effort by becoming an investor in Diamond Sports.

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The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than three decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television. See the bio for Phillip Swann here.