Today it is being reported that Sincalir’s Sports Channels are preparing for bankruptcy. This would include the Bally Sports RSNs.
The company called Diamond Sports Group LLC, which runs Sincalirs sports channels, is reportedly $8.6 billion in debt. Sinclair is hoping to strike a deal to help them keep the channels operating thanks to bankruptcy.
In total, Sinclair owes $55 billion in sports-media rights, according to Bloomberg. A bankruptcy could put payments to the NBA and NHL at risk. It is being reported that Sinclair will skip a $140 million interest payment due in mid-February, starting a 30-day grace period for the company.
Sinclair is facing the perfect storm of paying a very high price for the old Fox Sports RSNs just as cord cutting was exploding. Now payouts from cable networks are reportedly drying up as companies are refusing to pay the high price Sinclair wants for its Bally Sports RSNs.
Recently a growing number of networks, including DISH have dropped Bally Sports Network. To help with these issues, Sinclair has launched a $20 a month subscription service to get Bally Sports networks without cable TV. So far, though, fans seem not to be running to the service in the numbers expected.
Sinclair will likely seek to end some contracts with teams and cut back on payments to others.
It is reported that Sinclairs Diamond sports group has about $585 million cash in hand but owes about $2 billion in fees to teams this year.