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

Diamond Sports won’t pay Padres, rights will revert back to team

The regional sports operator missed a key payment to continue producing and distributing the baseball games this season.

The regional sports operator missed a key payment to continue producing and distributing the baseball games this season.

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

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s regional sports subsidiary will skip out on a payment to the San Diego Padres, a move that will see the telecast rights for Padres games move back to the team.

The payment is part of a $1.2 billion deal inked between Sinclair’s Diamond Sports and the Padres to produce and air regular-season baseball games on the media company’s Bally Sports-branded cable network in the border region of Southern California.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Diamond Sports reaffirmed it had enough cash on hand to make rights payments to various pro sports teams, but said “the economics of the Padres’ contract were not aligned with market realities.”

“MLB has forced our hand by its continued refusal to negotiate direct-to-consumer streaming rights for all teams in our portfolio despite our proposal to pay every team in full in exchange for those rights,” the spokesperson said. “We are continuing to broadcast games for teams under our contracts.”

The final game produced and broadcast by Diamond Sports will air Tuesday evening as the Padres take on the Marlins in Miami. Major League Baseball will step in to produce and distribute games for the foreseeable future.

Diamond Sports is in the middle of a prolonged bankruptcy case after filing for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year. The Sinclair subsidiary is hoping to restructure around $8 billion in debt.

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 11 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 » Diamond Sports won’t pay Padres, rights will revert back to team