The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Major League Baseball prepared to broadcast Diamondback games

The professional sports league is negotiating with pay TV companies to carry the games should Diamond Sports end its deal.

The professional sports league is negotiating with pay TV companies to carry the games should Diamond Sports end its deal.

The coverage map of Sinclair’s regional sports channels Bally Sports. (Image courtesy Sinclair Broadcast Group, Graphic by The Desk)

Officials with Major League Baseball (MLB) have told a federal court overseeing the bankruptcy case involving Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Diamond Sports that the professional sports league is prepared to take over the broadcast production and distribution of games played by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In a notice filed with the court this week, MLB said it is negotiating with pay television providers, including satellite and streaming service DirecTV, to distribute Diamondbacks games in their local market, and was likely not going to object to a request by Diamond Sports to back out of their contractual agreement to produce and distribute games on their Bally Sports network.

Diamond Sports filed an emergency motion with the federal court in June, asking a judge to nullify its contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The motion argued that the contract no longer made financial sense to Diamond Sports. Before a judge could rule on the issue, Diamond Sports and the Diamondbacks asked to postpone the matter.

The Diamondbacks are listed among one of Diamond Sports’ largest creditors, with more than $30 million owed in rights and other business-related fees. Diamond Sports filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, and documents submitted to the bankruptcy court revealed the precise amount it owes to the Diamondbacks and other business ventures.

In a separate filing this week, DirecTV asked the bankruptcy court to reduce retransmission consent fees owed to Diamond Sports for the continued carriage of its Bally Sports channel focused on Arizona if MLB takes over the rights to the Diamondbacks games. The satellite and streaming company argued the channels would not be worth as much without the pro-baseball games, and is seeking an adjustment of fees accordingly.

Diamond Sports operates nearly two dozen Bally Sports-branded networks, including Bally Sports Arizona, which are distributed on DirecTV and AT&T U-Verse.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
Home » News » Industries » Television » Major League Baseball prepared to broadcast Diamondback games