Judge Approves Bally Sports’ Bankruptcy Extension Request and NBA Deal, But no MLB Deal Reached





A federal judge approved Bally Sports’ request for more time to file its plan to reorganize and re-emerge from bankruptcy, even as the troubled company indicated it would seek to file a third extension down the line, according to a person familiar with the situation.

In addition, the judge approved a deal between the NBA and Bally Sports’ parent company, Diamond Sports Group, the person said. The deal was announced earlier this month and covers 15 teams through the 2023-2024 season.

The hearing, held in a Houston bankruptcy court, marks the latest turn for Bally Sports, which has struggled to stay afloat a constant shifting of plans and defection of several major sports teams. The company, hit hard by the pandemic and rise of cord cutting, is illustrative of the widespread failure of regional sports networks.

The new deadlines include November 29 to file its reorganization plans and January 29 to get approval, although they may prove moot if another extension is granted.

Potentially derailing things is an objection filed by Sinclair, the former parent of Bally Sports, who noted the tentative cooperation agreement doesn’t include a quarter of a billion dollars in fees owed to the media giant, according to Awful Announcing. The objections relate to the master service agreement between Bally Sports and Sinclair.

In addition, a lawyer for the MLB said it would present its own offer sheet proposal to Bally Sports, indicating the two sides haven’t come to a deal yet.

Bally Sports is also expected to strike a deal with the NHL to keep some of its teams in the fold too.

The NBA teams Bally Sports currently has contracts with are the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs., Miami Heat, and Milwaukee Bucks.

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