Recently we learned that Bally Sports is preparing to declare bankruptcy. Now we have learned that Bally Sports has missed a payment to the MLB Diamondbacks team, and this has started a clock that could result in Bally Sports’ losing rights to MLB games.
According to Bloomberg, a person with knowledge of the situation said if Bally Sports fails to make a payment to the team by March 17th, 2023, MLB can take them to court and get the media rights back.
Recently MLB, at an owner’s meeting, made it clear that they have backup plans if Bally Sports fails to live up to the contract.
“I think you should assume that if Diamond doesn’t broadcast, we’ll be in a position to step in,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after an owners’ meeting, according to ESPN. “Our goal would be to make games available not only within the traditional cable bundle but on the digital side, as well.”
Bally Sports airs local MLB games for 14 teams. You can also watch 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL franchises on Bally Sports.
It is reported that Bally Sports owes MLB teams about $1 billion. A number that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed. If Bally Sports follows through on its bankruptcy plans, that could put payments to MLB teams at risk. Now it seems that MLB teams plan to take back rights if Bally Sports fails to pay them.
The MLB has made it clear they would prefer for Bally Sports to finish its contract, but if that can’t happen, they are ready with backup plans. The good news for MLB fans is that no matter what happens will still be able to watch their MLB games.