Major League Baseball and Diamond Sports Group are continuing discussions about the broadcasting conglomerate’s ongoing bankruptcy. A hearing initially scheduled for Wednesday morning was delayed to Friday, January 19, according to Evan Drellich of the Athletic.
That suggests MLB and representatives for Diamond feel there’s still something to be gained from talks. At the same time, it moves ever closer towards Opening Day without a firm resolution for teams whose local broadcasting deals run through the Bally Sports networks.
As recently as last season, Diamond’s Bally Sports RSNs carried in-market broadcasts for 14 teams. The struggling corporation dropped its contracts with the Padres and Diamondbacks midseason, leading MLB to take over local broadcasts for those franchises. Bally’s contract with the Twins ran its course at the end of the 2023 season.
That presently leaves 11 teams* who have deals with Diamond for in-market broadcasting in 2024. However, Diamond has suggested it could abandon its contracts with the Guardians and Rangers this offseason unless the terms of those deals are renegotiated. Meanwhile, Drellich reports that Diamond and MLB are in discussions about a possible contract to carry Twins’ games for another season.
It is unclear if Diamond will operate in any capacity after the ’24 campaign. The Wall Street Journal reported last month the company was in discussions with Amazon about potentially selling streaming rights for a short-term influx of cash that could help keep Diamond afloat.
However, Diamond only holds streaming rights for five of the 11 teams with which it has a TV deal. MLB has been reluctant to provide further streaming opportunities. The New York Post’s Josh Kosman reported on Monday that MLB shot down discussions between Diamond and Amazon — potentially with an eye towards negotiating a separate streaming deal with Amazon directly.
* Those clubs are the Angels, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Guardians, Marlins, Rangers, Rays, Reds, Royals, and Tigers.