A Texas bankruptcy court ruled Arizona Diamondbacks can terminate the team’s contract with the failing Diamond Sports Group, the parent company of Bally Sports. Now the team is looking for new partners to feature their games and expects to significantly increase audience reach.
“I look at it as opportunity. … We’re going to go from 930,000 that were subscribers to the ability to have nearly 5 million now with the increase in households and outside of our state market,” said CEO Derrick Hall as reported by Arizona Sports. “In addition to that, you lift a blackout that fans always had when it comes to streaming. They now have the ability to stream our games.”
He went on to say, “I really thank both of (Fox Sports Arizona and Bally Sports Arizona) for being great partners and I can’t fault any of the folks from Bally. They’ve been really good. They’ve got jobs, they have families and it has an impact on them. That’s what hurts the most.”
Hall says the presentation of games will remain the same while opening up a number of options for new ways for audiences to watch. While nothing is set in stone yet, Arizona Diamondbacks are in talks with the MLB and other interested parties about the next steps for the team.
“I think it’s a clean slate. We’ll talk to MLB, we’ll talk to other possible partners, we’ll talk to over-the-air partners. We’ve had a lot of interest going through this from outsiders asking if we’d be willing to engage,” said Hall. “We’re talking with MLB about what it looks like next year as a specific partner of theirs only exclusively or if we can bring in other partners to help distribution but what’s important to me is to make sure we can have more viewership than ever before, cover more territory than ever before. Not only statewide but outside, because we have so many fans when you look at New Mexico and Utah and Nevada.”
The Diamondbacks could stick to over-the-air coverage or possibly cable or satellite. They’re open to hybrid options as well and are in discussions with streaming services.