This week there was the first major ruling in the bankruptcy case involving bally sports’ parent company Diamond Sports. At issue here was Bally Sports’ failure to make payments to 4 MLB teams. Now Judge Christoper Lopez, who is overseeing Diamond Sports’ bankruptcy has ruled that Bally Sports must pay 50% of what it owes to 4 MLB teams, according to Yahoo Sports.
Currently, Bally Sports has been airing MLB games without paying the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers. For now, this order is only an interim measure and could be altered by Judge Lopez.
This fight is far from over, though, as Bally Sports has also not paid the Reds a move that started a 15-day countdown that could result in Bally Sports losing TV rights to the Reds. If that happens starting May 6th, the MLB will have to put their backup plans in place to start streaming games in markets for Reds fans.
It is very possible that Judge Lopez could also order Bally Sports to make a payment to the Reds. If that happens, Bally Sports would keep TV rights to the Reds.
The Reds are reportedly one of Bally Sports’ lowest-rated MLB clubs. The Reds reportedly only drew in 27,000 viewers on average per game in 2022. This low viewership affects Bally Sports ability to sell ads making the Reds less attractive to Bally Sports.
It has been suggested that Bally Sports may try to drop some teams it sees as unprofitable. Failing to make a payment to the Reds may be an intentional move to cut costs.
The bankruptcy of Diamond Sports, the parent company of Bally Sports will likely take some time. This event could be dragged out for over a year. During that time, Bally Sports faces multiple issues like this as it struggles to restructure and come out of bankruptcy.