Wednesday, May 22, 2024

MLB doubts Bally Sports owners can survive after loss of Comcast

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Major League Baseball isn’t convinced the owners of the Bally Sports networks, Diamond Sports Group, can stay in business after failing to reach a deal with Comcast.

At the end of April, Bally Sports North – and other Bally Sports stations across the country – disappeared from Comcast Xfinity after the two companies couldn’t reach a deal on a new contract.

Since then, Diamond Sports Group has launched a campaign to pressure Comcast into making a new deal, while Minnesota sports fans have been left in the lurch. In a filing in bankruptcy court, the MLB believes the loss of Comcast will be “insurmountable” for Diamond Sports Group.

In its filing, the MLB points to key moments baseball fans have missed during the Comcast blackout, including the Twins’ 12-game win streak.

“Fans who watch local game telecasts only through Comcast missed all of this, and more, in the period since May 1,” attorneys for the MLB write. “On each additional day that [Diamond Sports Group’s] broadcasts stay dark on Comcast, fans miss much more. As these meaningful examples demonstrate, MLB, the Clubs and baseball fans have been immediately and irreparably harmed by [Diamond Sports Group’s] failure to maintain their carriage agreement with Comcast, and this harm cannot be redressed simply with monetary damages.”

According to the filing, Diamond Sports Group was planning to liquidate after the MLB season, but shifted plans in January 2024, aiming at reorganizing the company versus folding – dependent on several conditions.

The MLB is asking the court to address the situation and for Diamond Sports Group to explain its path forward.

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