Yesterday, during a court hearing, MLB lawyers said that a framework had been reached for a deal to have Bally Sports air the 2024 MBL season. The catch is three of the remaining 11 MLB teams may be dropped by Bally Sports or have their contracts changed.
“We are in a position to believe that we have a framework to move forward,” said James Bromley, a lawyer for MLB, during a federal bankruptcy hearing in Houston. “We have a lot of conditions and issues that we still need to work through. But we think, at this point, it’s appropriate to ask the court if we could take the hearing from today’s calendar and move it to a date in January. So January 9 and 10 if possible, in order to allow the parties to come to a fully documented settlement.” According to a report from Awful Announcing.
The problem is some teams may not be a part of this new deal. According to Bally Sports lawyer Andrew Goldman, there are “three teams who are currently not contemplated to be in the fold.” We already knew that Bally was considering dropping the Guardians and Rnagers but the third team that may be dropped is unknown at this time.
The MLB teams that Bally Sports currently has contracts with are the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Guardians, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angles Angels, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Milwaukee Brewers. Already, Bally Sports has dropped three MLB teams.
The Judge in the case has moved the hearing for the MLB TV rights to January 2023. This is reportedly to give both sides a few more weeks to work out a deal.
MLB said in a filing submitted last Wednesday that it believes Bally Sports will shut its business down at the end of the 2024 MLB season. Because of that belief, MLB argued that the channel doesn’t need extra time to prepare and present its plan to get out of bankruptcy.
“The clear intention of the Debtors to wind down in less than a calendar year is reason to compel the Debtors to assume or reject the Telecast Rights Agreements now,” it said.
A Bally Sports spokeswoman declined to comment on the filing.
In the filing, the MLB pushed the judge to force Bally Sports to pay or cancel its TV contract. “The Debtors brush off the uncertainty created by the lack of progress in these cases by emphasizing the news they have to report since the filing of the Motion—news that allegedly moots the need for the Debtors to assume or reject the Telecast Rights Agreements at this time. What is the news? That the Debtors will wind down their business no later than the conclusion of the 2024 MLB season,” it said.
Now it seems that some type of deal between MLB and Bally Sports may have been reached but will all the teams agree to the terms is the question.