Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.
The company is the parent company of Bally Sports Regional Networks which broadcasts local games in the United States. He owns the rights to 42 teams: 14 from the MLB, 16 from the NBA and 12 from the NHL.
This includes the San Diego Padres.
The looming bankruptcy has raised concerns among fans in the affected markets over whether game broadcasts will be interrupted, especially by baseball fans, with only 10 days left before MLB opens on March 30.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch games broadcast by Bally Sports.
How to watch San Diego Padres on Bally Sports
For now, tune in as usual. All games are currently expected to be streamed as scheduled.
David Preshlak, CEO of Diamond and a former NBC Sports executive, assured fans on Tuesday in a statement that live streaming would continue while the company restructures and offloads its debt.
“DSG will continue to broadcast games and connect fans across the country to the sports and teams they love,” Preshlak said in a statement. “With the support of our creditors, we expect a quick and efficient reorganization and exit from the restructuring. process as a stronger company.”
The 19 RSNs owned and operated by Diamond Sports Group include:
– Bally Sports Arizona (Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix Suns)
– Bally Sports Detroit (Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons)
– Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun (Florida Panthers, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays)
– Bally Sports Great Lakes/Bally Sports Ohio (Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Guardians, Columbus Blue Jackets)
– Bally Sports Indiana (Indiana Pacers)
– Bally Sports Kansas City (Kansas City Royals)
– Bally Sports Midwest (St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Cardinals)
– Bally Sports New Orleans (New Orleans Pelicans)
– Bally Sports North (Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild)
– Bally Sports Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Thunder)
– Bally Sports San Diego (San Diego Padres)
– Bally Sports SoCal (Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings)
– Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast (Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators)
– Bally Sports Southwest (Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, San Antonio Spurs, Texas Rangers)
– Bally Sports West (Los Angeles Angels)
– Bally Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers)
Diamond is a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which acquired the RSN portfolio from Disney for $10.6 billion in 2019, including approximately $8 billion in debt, according to CNBC.
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What happens if Bally Sports stops broadcasting games?
If that happens, Major League Baseball is reportedly ready to come to the rescue.
Before Diamond released the statement, the New York Post reported that the company was expected to reject contracts with teams it is losing money on, including the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. If so, according to the Post, MLB intends to take over local broadcasts for affected teams and stream games for free in local markets while negotiations continue.
Perhaps the NBA and NHL would have done the same, even though the 2022-23 regular season for each league is almost over.
According to the Sports Business Journal, the NBA renewed Diamond Sports’ contract in June despite the company’s impending bankruptcy. Under the agreement, Bally Sports+, the direct-to-consumer streaming service the company launched in September for fans without cable TV packages, will continue to stream games for 16 NBA teams hosted online.
Basic packages for Bally Sports+ start at around $20 per month.
The NBA’s deal with Diamond Sports includes year-long deals that run through the 2024-2025 season, according to the SBJ, which adds that the company must meet 13 conditions annually in order to activate the deal for the next 12 months. Filing for bankruptcy would be a violation of one of these conditions.