Diamond Sports Group owes $8.6 billion, threatens bankruptcy

An image for an article titled Bally Sports probably pushes baseball into caring about what happens on the field

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MLB’s biggest problem in recent years is that too many teams don’t really care if their teams win or lose. They’ll say all the right things and maybe make enough signings or trades to trick their idiotic portion of their fans into buying tickets or a new Carlton Fisk jersey (White or Red Sox? It’s up to you!), but it’s all a ruse. Thanks to revenue sharing, national TV deals, sponsorships and local TV deals, the money comes right before teams have to sell tickets. And they behaved like that.

The last part of that equation may be drying up.

Sinclair Diamond Sports Group affiliate debt restructuring

Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair Broadcasting subsidiary that ran their sports RSNs after they were acquired by Disney who acquired them from Fox, appears to be gearing up for an $8.6 billion debt restructuring in bankruptcy court. There are a lot of business and financial terms and policies to sort out, but in short, DSG is likely they will skip paying the interest they owe, which should be enough to get them to the bankruptcy filing they’ve been rumored to be seeking for some time.

If they go that route, all of their MLB, NHL and NBA contracts will essentially disappear overnight. According to Bloomberg, IIf Diamond, which operates under the Bally Sports brand, files for bankruptcy, it could potentially jeopardize key broadcast rights revenue for MLB.

MLB TV deals

No league has used its TV contracts as a crutch like MLB teams. For example, St. The St. Louis Cardinals currently receive about $66 million a year from Bally from their 15-year, $1 billion deal they signed with Fox Sports in 2015. Although the Cardinals are one of the better supported teams in the league by attendance, you’d have to think that $66 million in shredding would certainly be something they might notice. Texas Rangers – you may remember them from such episodes as handing Jacob deGrom, Corey Seager and Marcus Semien their own Caribbean islands in cash – signed a 20-year, $1.6 billion deal in 2010. There are 17 other teams in Sinclair/Diamond local TV deals, all of whom will have angry accountants when that local TV money goes to hang out with Harvey the rabbit.

It was rumored that he was the leagues themselves will eventually buy problematic rights from bankruptcy, although it is not quite so simple and involves many processes which to go blind when I read about them. But MLB might let it maybe finally abolished with its Byzantine and Moronic blackout rules for its MLB Extra Innings package if it ends up owning the teams’ local TV rights. Still, that would be total wealth, not an overstated total which the teams collected from Bally for their local TV rights. It’s hard to see the Cardinals collecting $60 million from that kind of setup every year. Which would hopefully mean that they and a host of other teams would actually have to worry a little more about ticket sales, which are generally tied to how a team is doing in the standings.

NBA and NHL teams will certainly feel the pinch, but neither has used local TV deals like MLB to justify their inertia in improving their teams. It’s not the big revolution MLB probably needs, but at least it’s a start. Or it may just turn out that fans in Iowa actually get to watch a baseball game live on TV instead of being pitched and quartered by the local righties of the Cubs, Cardinals and Twins. Baby steps to the elevator.

Jack Edwards gets his

Every so often we enjoy watching or reading about someone who gets exactly what they deserve. In the grand scheme of things, Jack Edwards has to answer for his juvenile and senseless fattening Pat Maroon during the Lightning-Bruins game won’t throw the world off its axis, but any level of compensation is welcome.

Last night was the first game the Bruins played against the Lightning since then, and Edwards went to apologize, which was the right move. Which doesn’t mean Maroon has to automatically accept it, i it sounds like it’s not. And to be fair to Edwards, as much as I have to, it sounds like he stood there and took it knowing that’s exactly what he had to do. Even from the picture is circulating on Twitter, you can tell Maroon doesn’t really have much time for what Edwards had to say.

Edwards got what it took, and that’s all any of us could have asked for. Sometimes everything just works out.

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