Diamond Sports Group has an agreement in place with the Rangers, Twins and Guardians, meaning Bally will plan to broadcast the games of those clubs this year, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic. The agreements are still pending court approval. The judge is expected to rule on these agreements February 9, per Alden González of ESPN. Drellich adds that the three clubs retain their streaming rights but each contract has a clause preventing them from doing anything with them this year.
“We are pleased to have reached agreements with the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers that work for all parties and enable us to continue delivering high-quality, live game broadcasts on Bally Sports to dedicated fans through the 2024 season,” reads a statement from a Diamond spokesperson, per Drellich.
The Guardians confirmed their agreement with a statement relayed by Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We can confirm we have reached an agreement with Diamond Sports Group for the 2024 season,” the club statement reads. “That agreement is currently pending court approval.”
It was reported earlier this week that the league expected Diamond to work out new deals with each of those three clubs and it now seems that the agreements are in place. The Twins’ previous deal with Diamond expired at the end of 2023. The Rangers and Guardians still had contracts in place but Diamond threatened to abandon them as part of the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, citing them as unprofitable.
The details still aren’t known, but the reporting from earlier this week suggested the clubs would likely be paid at least 85% of what they were getting previously. The Guardians reportedly made $55MM from their deal in 2023 with the Rangers reportedly at $111MM. Even if they are going to get lower fees compared to the past, a new deal could at least give them some clarity over their 2024 finances, which could then impact how they proceed with roster moves in the coming weeks.
Not too long ago, it seemed as though Diamond was going to be abandoning live sports entirely after 2024. But a couple of weeks back, they announced a restructuring deal involving an investment from Amazon, a deal that Diamond believes can get it out of bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy court approves all of these details, Amazon will acquire the streaming rights of the Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Brewers and Rays. Per González, the ruling on that restructuring deal is expected February 26, with Diamond then having until March 22 to finalize the details for presentation in court.
Diamond only had the streaming rights for those five clubs, meaning it couldn’t sell rights for the other clubs that it broadcasts on television. The Rangers, Twins and Guardians will retain their streaming rights but won’t be able to work out a new deal this year. For fans in those markets hoping for changes to the direct-to-consumer model, it seems they may have to wait another year, assuming everything ends up being approved in court.