Bally Sports, the embattled regional sports network attempting to climb its way out of bankruptcy, made some headway when a federal bankruptcy judge approved its deal to broadcast Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers games through the end of the 2024 season.
The deal was approved by Judge Christopher Lopez on Friday. On Monday, Diamond Sports Group, the parent company of Bally Sports, and the MLB jointly withdrew its motion to “compel assumption or rejections of telecast rights agreement” since an agreement had been struck with modified terms for the three teams, marking the final step for the agreement. The company had confirmed the deal had been struck earlier this month.
The approval marks a step in the right direction for Bally Sports and Diamond Sport Group, which is still in the middle of getting a plan to get out of bankruptcy approved by the judge. Lopez said the deal marked a “huge step forward” for Bally Sports to emerge out of bankruptcy protection, according to Sportico.
The judge had encouraged Diamond Sports Group and the MLB, which has had a contentious relationship, to work out their differences. Bally Sports had initially wanted the baseball teams to honor contracts that went further than the 2024 season. An earlier report from MLB Trade Rumors predicted that the Guardians and the Rangers each are expected to take a 15% cut.
Diamond Sports Group is keen to get its deals in place with Amazon coming in as an investor, which gives it a higher chance of surviving over the long term.
But the MLB is keen to create its own streaming service in time for the 2025 season, and is likely to get those rights back once this deal expires.