Bally Sports Ends National Desk Broadcasts & Lays Off Staff As It Tries to Cut Costs





Last week, Bally Sports made some major changes to its network and laid off eight staff from its national desk staff. This comes as Bally Sports said they will be focusing more on local programming. This means multiple Bally Sports employees have been laid off and the end of some studio programming from Bally Sports according to Front Office Sports.

Bally Sports is coming under a lot of pressure with money. It has contracts coming up with major cable TV providers, including DIRECTV, Comcast, and Spectrum. If deals here are not reached, Bally Sports may be extremely hard to find on TV. DIRECTV has already made it clear that they want a discount on Bally Sports as it no longer has as many teams. Now it looks like even more teams may leave if deals with the NBA and NHL can not be reached.

To try and raise some funds earlier this year, Bally Sports sued its parent company Sinclair, to try and recover some money. This may seem a bit strange, as Bally Sports was owned by Sinclair. Recently, though, Sinclair spun off its sports group into the Diamond Sports Group to help protect itself.

At issue here is money that Diamond Sports Group wants back from both Sinclair and JP Morgan Chase. Earlier this year, Sinclair paid JP Morgan Chase $190.2 million to cover the majority of preferred equity units the bank bought for $1.025 billion in 2019. The money went towards Sinclair’s purchase of RSNs for 19 regional sports networks to create Bally Sports, which was caught in a downward spiral ending in the Diamond Sports Group bankruptcy filing earlier this year.

With expensive contracts with sports teams and money owed to Sinclair, plus the real risk of getting less from its cable TV partners Bally Sports seems to be hoping it can get money from Sinclair to help cover its costs.

The Diamond Sports Group is a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, but it operates independently and manages the Bally Sports RSNs. Currently, it manages TV rights for 40 professional teams, including 12 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 NHL teams.

Getting back some of the $1.5 billion would be a huge help for Bally as it struggles to make deals with these teams and networks. Now it has to decide if it wants to pay Sinclair for the management services or maybe risk losing it. As they wait to find out what the court rules it seems that Bally Sports is trying to cut costs by focusing on local programming.

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