Bally Sports may soon face a major setback as one of the few streaming services to carry its RSNs and one of its largest TV partners could be dropping them this year. Yesterday, DIRECTV made a filing to the judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Bally Sports’ parent company Diamond Sports in response to a requested delay in a go-forward business plan. In that filing, DIRECTV announced its contract with Bally Sports ended this year and that it is looking to pay less going forward as Bally Sports has lost several MLB teams recently.
At issue here is Diamond Sports’ request to delay filing a plan of a new business plan to show the court how it can get out of bankruptcy. Bally Sports is asking for an extra 120 days, but Diamond’s creditors want to limit the amount of time Diamond Sports will get to extend talks with companies like DIRECTV.
In the filing, DIRECTV is asking Bally Sports for an “immediate rate relief” of what it is paying now that Bally Sports no longer carries the Padrees and the Diamondbacks.
In short, DIRECTV has made it clear they will not pay more for Bally Sports and wants to reduce what they are already paying. DIRECTV is arguing that since Bally Sports lost several MLB teams, DIRECTV should not be paying the same amount they did when these teams aired on Bally Sports.
To make things even more complicated, Bally Sports could lose even more NBA and NHL teams if payments or new contracts can’t be reached.
Exactly when this contract ends is unknown but it will end this year. In the filing DIRECTV said that even though their contract with Bally Sports ends this year, Diamond Sports have “barely begun.” According to the filing, even some preliminary matters related to the renewal talks have yet to be reached. This suggests that both sides are far from reaching a deal to keep Bally Sports on DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM.
Diamond Sports reportedly is planning on extending and expanding carriage with key distributors as part of their go-forward plans. DIRECTV would be one of the logical partners for Bally Sports as it is one of the larger streaming services to offer the channel and one of the larger TV providers to offer Bally Sports.
Bally Sports declined to comment on the court filing. DIRECTV could not be reached before publication.