Recently Bally Sports lost rights to two MLB teams, with the Padres and Diamondbacks both not being paid. They have also lost the NBA Phoenix Suns recently as the team decided not to renew their TV contract with Bally Sports and instead will now broadcast their games for free on over-the-air TV with Gray Television.
Now it looks like Bally Sports could lose more NBA and NHL teams, according to a new filing from some of Diamond’s creditors.
At issue here is Diamond Sports Group, the parent company behind Bally Sports, requested an extension of the exclusivity period of 120 days to create a go-forward plan. Now the creditors want that time limited and want Bally Sports to finalize its talks with the NBA and NHL teams as part of its business plan in its Chapter 11 proceedings. If the creditors get their way Bally Sports would need to finish talks with the NBA and NHL before the season starts.
Bally Sports needs to decide if it will pay NBA and NHL teams their full contracts or try to renegotiate unprofitable contracts. This is very similar to what we just went through with MLB teams, which resulted in two teams losing their TV deals with Bally Sports.
The NBA teams Bally Sports currently has contracts with 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.
The NHL teams that Bally Sports currently has contacts with the Arizona Coyotes, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, St. Lous Blues, Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Los Angeles Kings.
Bally Sports will likely pay to keep most, if not all, of the teams. However, Bally Sports is likely hoping to reach a deal to reduce their payments to unprofitable teams or drop them altogether.
The 2023 NBA season will start on October 24th, 2023. This is likely the date the NBA would like a deal done by for all of its teams.
The 2023 NHL season will start on October 10th, 2023, a date that it would likely hope to reach a deal with Bally Sports.
For now, we will have to wait and see what happens. Much like with the MLB, both sides would like to reach a deal. Now the question is, will they be able to do so?
Bally Sports declined to comment on the court filings from yesterday when Cord Cutters News reached out.
Correction: This story originally stated that the leagues asked for Bally Sports to finalize talks before the season starts. It was actually a group of creditors that asked for NBA and NHL talks to be finalized before the start of the season. We apologize for the mistake on our part.