Bally Sports Wants to Terminate Its New Contracts With the NBA & NHL and Return To its Older Agreements, Putting OTA TV Deals In Jeopardy





Over the last few months, Bally Sports’ parent company, Diamond Sports Group, struck new deals with the NBA and reportedly the NHL that would see its TV contracts end after the current season. Now, as a part of a new plan proposed to the bankruptcy court, these contracts would be terminated, and the old NHL and NBA contracts would go back into effect.

The terms are part of Diamond Sports Group’s plan to emerge out of bankruptcy, and would revert the NBA and NHL to its old TV deals. “The Cooperation Agreement Order shall not have become effective, the terms of the NBA Term Sheet and the NHL Term Sheet conditioned on the effectiveness of the Cooperation Agreement Order shall not have gone into effect (including that none of the NBA or NHL team rights agreements shall be subject to early termination on account of the NBA Term Sheet or the NHL Term Sheet, respectively), and the Company Parties shall not have entered into any other similar arrangement or transaction with any of the Sports Leagues,” the plan said.

At jeopardy here are several OTA TV deals that allow NBA teams to air up to 10 NBA games this season on free broadcast channels in their markets. Cord Cutters News has confirmed that these contracts could be terminated if the judge approves this plan.

Bally Sports is arguing that while teams have already gone ahead and struck new TV deals, their NBA contract has not gone into effect yet. That would allow the judge to backtrack and put the old NBA and NHL contracts back into place.

This is all a part of a plan that Bally Sports hopes will see avoid going out of business 2024, as many believed would happen. Instead, the company hopes this partnership, which includes Amazon investing into Bally Sports and Sinclair paying them over $400 million, would help the networks continue to operate past the 2024 MLB season.

All of this is subject to the judge’s approval, and MLB, NHL, and NBA will all have a chance to argue for or against this plan.

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