Atlanta Braves fans will continue to receive Braves broadcasts on Bally Sports after its parent company Diamond Sports, files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Yesterday, New York Post reporter Josh Kosman reported that Diamond Sports was expected to file for bankruptcy March 17, but a few minutes ago, the Athletic's Daniel Kaplan reported Diamond submitted its Chapter 11 filing today.
According to Kosman’s report, the Trustees were set to reject the contracts of the Padres, Guardians. Reds and Diamondbacks with MLB ready to step in to offer streaming for those teams. But Diamond's statement said all 19 RSN would continue to operate under their control., at least for now.
"(Diamond will continue broadcasting games . . . across the country with the sports and teams they love. . . we expect to execute a prompt and efficient reorganization and to emerge from the restructuring process as a stronger company.”"- David Preschlack, CEO of Diamond
All of Diamond's affiliates should submit individual Chapter 11 filings, but Arizona is the only one to file so far. The Arizona filing indicated they were owed nearly $31M, so keeping them operating under the Bally banner is optimistic.
MLB Ready To Take Over If (When) Needed
At the Grapefruit League meeting in February, commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB wants a streaming service that goes beyond MLB.TV's offering. He went on to say that ideally, the new service would allow fans to watch any team's games anywhere.
"One of the most important things I’ve learned in life is to ignore most of what people say. I watch what they do instead. "
MLB’s actions so far support that goal. In January they hired four former RSN executives to give the league experience leadership should MLB have to take over as a result of the bankruptcy, Kosman's report said the league asked about taking over of all Diamond's baseball rights.
"MLB recently tried to acquire the rights to all 14 teams that Diamond broadcasts, the two sources said. “They said no,” a source said."- Amanda Patterson