Today the New York Post reported that Bally Sports will declare bankruptcy on March 17th, 2023. This comes after it was first reported back in February that Bally Sports was unable to pay its bills and missed an important payment starting a clock for bankruptcy. If this report is correct, it means Bally Sports has failed to work out a deal with its creditors to rework its debt.
This comes as Bally Sports has an important payment to make to the MLB on March 17th. According to Bloomberg, a person with knowledge of the situation said if Bally Sports fails to make a payment to the team by March 17th, 2023, MLB can take them to court and get the media rights back.
Recently MLB, at an owner’s meeting, made it clear that they have backup plans if Bally Sports fails to live up to the contract.
“I think you should assume that if Diamond doesn’t broadcast, we’ll be in a position to step in,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after an owners’ meeting, according to ESPN. “Our goal would be to make games available not only within the traditional cable bundle but on the digital side, as well.”
The NY Post also reported that MLB has a plan to stream games for free in markets that have lost their RSNs. This would also include AT&T SportsNets, which will reportedly shut down in the next few weeks.
It is reported that Bally Sports owes MLB teams about $1 billion. A number that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed. If Bally Sports follows through on its bankruptcy plans, that could put payments to MLB teams at risk. Now it seems that MLB teams plan to take back rights if Bally Sports fails to pay them.
The MLB has made it clear they would prefer for Bally Sports to finish its contract, but if that can’t happen, they are ready with backup plans. The good news for MLB fans is that no matter what happens will still be able to watch their MLB games.