Diamond Sports, the parent company of Bally Sports regional networks, has filed for bankruptcy, as relayed by multiple news outlets.
Bally Sports is the regional sports broadcaster for 16 NBA teams and has faced financial difficulties almost since the time that Diamond took over from Fox Sports.
None of the 16 teams carried by Bally are expected to be impacted this season; though the league will have to come up with a contingency plan in time for 2023-24. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has indicated that the league was prepared in he event that Diamond’s financial collapse continued.
This isn’t necessarily a huge deal for the league or its teams, but it sure is for Diamond and Bally, which paid a hefty price to have its name attached to the regional networks. Bally Sports also offers some national programming, including The Rally, which features top NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Broadcasters at each of the Bally Sports channels could be impacted as well, though again, not likely for the remainder of this season.
NBA teams carried by Bally Sports: The Cavaliers, Hawks, Hornets, Mavericks, Pistons, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Thunder, Magic, Suns and Spurs.
“There are still many unknowns — Diamond appears likely to seek to keep some but not all of the teams carried by its 19 RSNs — but two tenets appear clear: the games will be on in some capacity, and viewers over time will need to pay more to watch as clubs begin the painful shift away from channels carried under the traditional cable bundle,” wrote Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. “The sports fan has for decades been subsidized by the cable bundle, paying a fraction of what the games would cost as a stand-alone. It’s why leagues and teams fought sports tiers for so long, and why selling streams raises prices.”
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