Last month, during a court hearing, MLB lawyers said that a framework had been reached for a deal to have Bally Sports air the 2024 MLB season. The catch is three of the remaining MLB teams may be dropped by Bally Sports or have their contracts changed. Today was to be the court date to finalize a potential deal between MLB and Bally Sports, but now that court hearing has been delayed.
The problem is some teams may not be a part of this new deal. According to Bally Sports lawyer Andrew Goldman, there are “three teams who are currently not contemplated to be in the fold.” We already knew that Bally was considering dropping the Guardians and Rnagers but the third team that may be dropped is unknown at this time.
The MLB teams that Bally Sports currently has contracts with are the Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Cleveland Guardians, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angles Angels, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Milwaukee Brewers. Already, Bally Sports has dropped three MLB teams.
Now the court date to finalize a deal between MLB and Bally Sports has been pushed back to January 19, 2023. This comes as it was reported this week that MLB rejected an offer from Amazon to help fund Bally Sports and move the streaming of these MLB team’s games to Amazon.
MLB said in a filing submitted last month that it believes Bally Sports will shut its business down at the end of the 2024 MLB season. Because of that belief, MLB argued that the channel doesn’t need extra time to prepare and present its plan to get out of bankruptcy.
“The clear intention of the Debtors to wind down in less than a calendar year is reason to compel the Debtors to assume or reject the Telecast Rights Agreements now,” it said.
In a recent filing, MLB pushed the judge to force Bally Sports to pay or cancel its TV contract. “The Debtors brush off the uncertainty created by the lack of progress in these cases by emphasizing the news they have to report since the filing of the Motion—news that allegedly moots the need for the Debtors to assume or reject the Telecast Rights Agreements at this time. What is the news? That the Debtors will wind down their business no later than the conclusion of the 2024 MLB season,” it said.
Now, it seems that some type of deal between MLB and Bally Sports may still be in the works, but more time is needed.