Earlier this week, Bally Sports and the NBA announced a deal that will keep NBA games on the RSNs. This deal will avoid what could have resulted in multiple NBA teams leaving Bally Sports midseason. One part of this deal that was not widely reported at the time is that each of the 15 NBA teams that renewed their contract with Bally Sports will also get to offer up to 10 games this season on free over-the-air TV.
The other big news here is that if Bally Sports fails to get a renewal deal with Spectrum early next year, the NBA can terminate its contract with the RSN, according to a report from the Sports Business Journal. This move likely gives Spectrum great power in its negations that are up for renewal in February 2024. Reportedly NBA teams already have backup plans in place if Bally Sports loses TV rights for the NBA.
“Our newly-signed agreements with the NBA, Comcast and our creditors reflect significant progress on Diamond’s path forward,” Diamond Sports said in a statement obtained by Cord Cutters News. “Upon court approval, these agreements will enable Diamond to continue delivering live game broadcasts to fans throughout the 2023–24 NBA, NHL and MLB seasons. Diamond has been broadcasting NBA and NHL games and will continue to do so while the court considers our motions, and while discussions with the NHL finalize with respect to their own new deal.”
The NBA teams Bally Sports currently has contracts with are the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs., Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Now, each team needs to shop around these ten games and find a partner in their local market to air them. The hope is this move will help offset the 16% cut each team took in payments from Bally Sports. After the end of this NBA season, a new deal will need to be reached to keep NBA games on Bally Sports.
It is also expected that Bally Sports will reach a similar deal with NHL teams but at this time no deal has been reached.