Diamond Sports, Parent of Bally Sports Regional Networks, Files for Bankruptcy

Diamond Sports, parent company of Bally Sports Regional Networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday but said in a statement that its 19 regional sports channels would continue to operate unimpeded. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Diamond’s own parent company, Sinclair, incurred more than $8 billion in debt following its acquisition of RSN in 2019, an ill-timed deal that came just as the cord-cutting took hold.
  • Fears have swept the leagues, especially MLB, that its 14 teams carried by Bally will be dropped by Diamond. This doesn’t seem to be happening.
  • The pre-packaged bankruptcy, which is still being negotiated with creditors, is expected to reduce Diamond’s debt by $8 billion and separate the company from Sinclair Broadcasting.


Diamond Sports Group “will continue to broadcast games and connect fans across the country with the sports and teams they love,” Diamond CEO David Preschlack said in a statement. “With the support of our creditors, we expect to execute a quick and effective reorganization and emerge from the restructuring process a stronger business.”

Many expected Diamond to drop some RSNs that weren’t as economical, and so far that doesn’t seem to be the case. However, Diamond’s Arizona affiliate, Diamond Sports Net Arizona, filed its own Chapter 11. It’s unclear what that means for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were the only team not paid on time. last week. Schyuler Carroll, a bankruptcy attorney, said all RSNs should file individually but probably hadn’t completed their paperwork

According to Diamond Chapter 11, AZPB, the parent company of Diamondbacks, is the sports media company’s fourth-largest creditor with $30.8 million. No other teams are listed. College sports media company Raycom Sports Network is listed as owing $8.5 million.


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According to the Diamond Chapter 11 filing, there is a four-person “conflicts committee” that helps run the company during Chapter 11: Preschlack, former NFL chief operating officer Maryann Turcke, former executive of Fox Sports Randy Freer and former Vulcan Sports executive Robert Whitsitt.

The Diamond Sports and AZPB petitions each list assets and liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion. The cases are filed in the bankruptcy court for the Southern District of Texas.

The 19 RSNs owned and operated by Diamond include Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports West and Bally Sports Wisconsin. Bally Sports’ RSNs broadcast 42 NBA, NHL and MLB teams.

Major League Baseball released a statement Tuesday evening saying that there are “every expectations that (Diamond) will continue to televise all games to which it is committed during the bankruptcy process” and that the league is “ready to produce and distribute games to fans in their local markets in the event Diamond or any other regional sports network is unable to do so as required by their agreement with our Clubs.”

“Having broadcast live games on MLB.TV for over 20 years and produced live games for MLB Network since 2009, we have the experience and capabilities to bring games to fans without interruption,” continued the league statement. “In addition, we have hired other senior local media professionals to build our capacity in anticipation of this development. In the long term, we will reinvent our distribution model to cope with the changing media climate and, ultimately, reach an even greater number of fans.

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(Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)

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