The NBA is prepared to take over broadcasting rights for games carried by bankrupt Diamond Sports Group, which owns Bally Sports, should it become necessary, as relayed by Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch.
As of now, Bally Sports is the planned provider for local broadcasts of many NBA teams, including the Cavaliers, Pacers, Spurs, Hornets and more. But regional sports networks (or RSNs) are clearly on shaky ground financially and have been since at least the middle of last season.
Diamond/Bally has said it will be able to honor its contracts for the 2023-24 season, but again, that seems to be very much up in the air. It has already lost broadcasting rights to Suns games.
Basically, the NBA will highly likely need to take over, if not for this season, then next. If Bally survives beyond that, it will be considered a broadcasting miracle.
“As has become a common practice in local sports broadcasting — including Bally Sports –the league’s plan would be to distribute games via both direct-to-subscriber and linear options,” Lewis wrote.
Along with the Cavs, Pacers, Spurs, and Hornets, Bally carries local broadcasts of games for the Magic, Timberwolves, Thunder, Clippers, Hawks, Grizzlies, and Mavericks.