Last week, Bally Sports said in a court filing 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.
Now though the MLB has filed an objection to this contract and is requesting unknown changes at this time. The MLB will be writing up a new contract offer and sending it to Bally Sports, a lawyer for the league said during Bally Sports’ bankruptcy hearing on Wednesday. This comes as the federal judge set a December 8, 2023, hearing to look at the proposed changes to the contract.
In the filing with the court that the MLB objected to, 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.
This news could bring to an end a long partnership between the MLB and Bally Sports, formerly Fox Sports RSNs after next season. Exactly what the MLB wants changed is unknown at this time.
There is still the issue of the NHL contracts that to be agreed to. According to reports, it is expected that the NHL will reach a deal with Bally Sports that lets the teams out of their contracts at the end of this current season.
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.