The Bally Sports bankruptcy case just got interesting as yesterday MLB filed an emergency motion to demand that Bally Sports’ parent company Diamond Sports, pay the Twins and Guardians.
In this emergency filing, MLB is asking that Diamond Sports be forced to make the missed payment to the Twins and Guardians or terminate the contracts, according to a report from The Athletic.
In the filing, the MLB said:
“Just one day prior to the April 1 due date for the first 2023 installment of the fees due to the Clubs, the Debtor RSNs informed the Guardians and the Twins that the Debtor RSNs would not be making the required payments,” MLB’s lawyers wrote in its motion (the Debtor RSNs refers to Bally Sports). “The Debtor RSNs made this decision even though they continue to use the Clubs’ valuable intellectual property every day. By continuing to broadcast Guardians and Twins games, they generate postpetition revenue, yet boldly refuse to pay the Clubs.”
This sets up a major showdown for Bally Sports and the MLB. It has been reported that Bally Sports is willing to let some sports teams go to cut back on costs. The question now is, are the Twins and Guardians one of those teams?
If MLB terminates Bally Sports’ contract for these teams, they reportedly plan to stream the games online. Right now, MLB, NBA, and NHL have all said they have backup plans in place to stream games in markets if Bally Sports is unable to fulfill its contract.
For now, though, all the major leagues have said they would prefer for Bally Sports to complete their contracts and air the games. If that is unable to happen, all three leagues have backup plans. Now it seems that these backup plans may need to become realities at least for some teams.