Yesterday Bally Sports announced in a court lining that it had reached a deal with creditors to get it through the 2024 MLB season. After that it will stop broadcasting MLB games, giving the teams the ability to find new TV partners with minimal impact on fans unless a new deal is reached with Bally Sports and its creditors. This news could bring to an end a long partnership between the MLB and Bally Sports, formerly Fox Sports RSNs.
This go forward plan still needs approval by the judge, but it would get Bally Sports through to the end of the 2024 season. After that, unless new deals are reached MLB teams would be able to find new TV partners before the start of the 2025 season.
In the filing with the court, Bally Sports said:
These actions give MLB and its clubs the clarity they demand in their Objection concerning the future treatment of their telecast rights agreements and give them time to transition to another broadcast partner before the start of the 2025 MLB season. These actions will also minimize the risk of disruption to fans as the Debtors expect to continue broadcasting through the 2024 MLB season.
Bally Sports also announced it is terminating its contract with the Twins effective immediately as its contract is now up and will not be renewed. The Twins will now need to find a new partner to air their TV games. It is also possible, according to the filings that other MLB teams will be dropped before the start of the 2024 MLB season.
This news lets MLB teams start looking now for TV partners to have backup plans in case Bally Sports is unable to keep going after the 2024 season. It has been reported though that multiple teams have already found new TV partners and are just waiting to be released from their contracts.
This news also raises questions about the future of Bally Sports right now it only has a plan to get through the 2024 MLB season. Bally Sports contracts with all NBA teams will also come to an end after the current season. This could mean we are looking at the final seasons for the MLB and the final season for the NBA on Bally Sports.
The MLB teams that Bally Sports had contracts with as of yesterday were the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Guardians, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angles Angels, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Milwaukee Brewers.