NBA team executives are seemingly worried about the potential of missed payments from Diamond Sports Group, the owner of Bally Sports, which broadcasts games on a regional basis.
Per Tom Friend of Sports Business Journal, Diamond was able to make its Sept. 1 payment to the Pelicans, enabling the partnership to continue through the season.
But there is still some concern that Diamond may not be able to cover its $40 million payments to the other teams broadcast on Bally regional networks — the Cavaliers, Pistons, Timberwolves, Magic, Thunder, Clippers, Pacers, Hawks, Hornets, Spurs, Mavericks and Heat.
As Friend relayed, those teams are due to receive their payments in October or November. If they don’t arrive, teams will be left to come up with ways to generate revenue to have their games broadcast on anything more than a streaming app.
“League executives say individual teams would have to recoup lost revenue through ad sales and direct-to-consumer streaming packages,” Friend wrote. “And while the NBA would produce the games, teams would have pay for production costs and negotiate a deal with their linear partners on the split of those costs.”
Eventually, the NBA will likely need to take over the regional broadcasting of nearly half its teams. If not this season, then next. Should Bally survive beyond that, it will be considered a true broadcasting miracle.