Tomorrow November 15, 2023, Bally Sports’ parent company Diamond Sports Group has a very important court hearing. At this hearing the future of the network could be decided as many major issues are coming up for approval by the Judge. As part of this court hearing the court will review complaints by DIRECTV to cut what it pays Bally Sports along with changes to the NBA and MLB contracts the court needs to approve.
This all comes as last week, Bally Sports announced 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. This news could bring to an end a long partnership between the MLB and Bally Sports, formerly Fox Sports RSNs.
This go-forward plan still needs approval by the judge, but it would get Bally Sports through to the end of the 2024 season. After that, unless new deals are reached, MLB teams would be able to find new TV partners before the start of the 2025 season.
In the filing with the court, 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.
Also, DIRECTV is asking the judge to let it stop paying for channels and events that Bally Sports no longer offers. This could result in Bally Sports getting less money going forward.
The last few issues the court will reportedly look at is approving new MLB and NBA contracts that will get Bally Sports through the current and upcoming seasons.
If the Judge fails to approve any of these plans, the future of Bally Sports is very much in question. Reportedly many times have already started to make backup plans in case BallY Sports is unable to go forward.
Cord Cutters News will have full coverage of the hearing tomorrow as the Judge hears arguments about major changes needed to keep Bally Sports going.