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Sinclair’s Diamond Sports skips $140 million payment

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s regional sports subsidiary Diamond Sports will skip its $140 million interest payment to creditors, the company announced this week.

The move comes as Diamond Sports — which operates nearly two dozen Bally Sports-branded regional sports network — is widely expected to file for federal bankruptcy protection, which is likely to happen by the end of this week or early next week, according to reports.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Diamond Sports says it will continue offering programming through its regional sports networks for at least another 30 days, during which it will hold discussions with creditors on a restructuring and payment plan.

“The company intends to use the 30-day grace period to continue progressing its ongoing discussions with creditors and other key stakeholders regarding potential strategic alternatives and deleveraging transactions to best position Diamond Sports Group for the future,” a spokesperson for Diamond Sports said. “Diamond Sports Group expects that its business will continue as usual, and it will keep broadcasting quality live sports productions for fans while it addresses its balance sheet.”

The Bally Sports-branded networks have regional rights to games played by Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League teams based in the regions where its channels operate.

The networks were initially acquired by the Walt Disney Company from what is now Fox Corporation in March 2019. They were sold off by Disney to Sinclair two months later in order to satisfy regulatory concerns over Disney’s acquisition of certain Fox film and television assets. Sinclair paid around $10 billion for the 19 channels, which were re-branded from Fox Sports to Bally Sports in 2021.

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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.
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