Sinclair(Bally's Sport) nearing a deal for NBA streaming rights for direct to consumer offering

GophersInIowa

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Reusse and Rand discussed the Twins/BSN issue on the Strib podcast this week. One downstream impact I had not thought of if MLB takes control of the inventory is whether or not this will alter each team having their own Broadcast production including the announcers.

I would think it would cut such costs nearly in half. I don't know if it really drives ratings one way or another to have their dedicated crew.

They mentioned that MLS does this currently, same broadcast goes out to the Home and Away market.
I wouldn't be shocked if they do this because MLB has a commissioner that actually dislikes baseball.

It would be a big mistake to go this route IMO.
 

Ope3

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I wouldn't be shocked if they do this because MLB has a commissioner that actually dislikes baseball.

It would be a big mistake to go this route IMO.
Just curious, why do you think it would be a mistake much less a "big" one?
 

GophersInIowa

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Just curious, why do you think it would be a mistake much less a "big" one?
Most national broadcasts by people that know nothing about the teams they're covering are generally pretty bad.

Announcers that are around the team all year will have a perspective that others won't.

I can't imagine the savings would be that much too. Teams already share camera operators.
 


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Reusse and Rand discussed the Twins/BSN issue on the Strib podcast this week. One downstream impact I had not thought of if MLB takes control of the inventory is whether or not this will alter each team having their own Broadcast production including the announcers.

I would think it would cut such costs nearly in half. I don't know if it really drives ratings one way or another to have their dedicated crew.

They mentioned that MLS does this currently, same broadcast goes out to the Home and Away market.
FWIW, in the San Diego deal it is mentioned that it will be all the same talent on TV and radio broadcasts.

And that makes perfect sense, to me. Those people should be employees (or more likely sign contracts with their respective radio stations, in the case of radio) of the team.

Why would you suddenly want to switch up all the people that fans are used to seeing/hearing?



All the needs to change are the "pipes" that get the streams out to TVs. That's really it.
 


Ope3

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Most national broadcasts by people that know nothing about the teams they're covering are generally pretty bad.

Announcers that are around the team all year will have a perspective that others won't.

I can't imagine the savings would be that much too. Teams already share camera operators.
Fair enough, but the Twins don't even have color announcers that are around the team all year. They have like 7 or 8 while granted are familiar with them that rotate in and out.

In this new purely hypothetical format where the announcers would do a full series and/or homestand (as opposed to dropping in for a single game), I think the "familiarity" aspect would be mitigated. Also could be done by regions, where the rotated announcers might do 30-40 Twins games (random guess) I think that would be plenty for the announcers to get the pulse of the team.

Part of my opinion is slanted in that I don't really have a strong opinion of Dick Bremer one way or another. I tune in to watch the Twins, as long as the announcers don't bug the bejeebers out of me, I am good. Just my take.
 

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FWIW, in the San Diego deal it is mentioned that it will be all the same talent on TV and radio broadcasts.

And that makes perfect sense, to me. Those people should be employees (or more likely sign contracts with their respective radio stations, in the case of radio) of the team.

Why would you suddenly want to switch up all the people that fans are used to seeing/hearing?

All the needs to change are the "pipes" that get the streams out to TVs. That's really it.
To clarify, what Reusse/Rand were talking about was speculation in the future (years down the road, though perhaps not many) not just one-offs like the Padres now and potentially the Twins as soon as tomorrow or whenever the judge rules.

As to your bolded question about what the fans are used to, does that really drive ratings? I have no idea, but just a random guess is that unless your lead TV announcer is Vin Scully, Jack Buck or Harry Carey, I just don't see the familiarity aspect moving the number.

Vikings football, could be as many as 10 different announcing crews that I watch. Makes no difference to me. The 5 Gopher road games I see, all could be different. Totally fine. Gopher basketball also what 10 different TV crews? No impact whatsoever on if I watch.

I know MLB baseball is different with viewers potentially watching 100+ games, but just throwing it out there.

As for the "pipes" would there be a cost save if you only need to put out 1 stream instead of two? Half the satellite time? Half as many production trucks? Half as many announcers, directors, producers + travel costs? Just throwing it out there. Any and all could be misassumptions on my part.
 

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To clarify, what Reusse/Rand were talking about was speculation in the future (years down the road, though perhaps not many) not just one-offs like the Padres now and potentially the Twins as soon as tomorrow or whenever the judge rules.

As to your bolded question about what the fans are used to, does that really drive ratings? I have no idea, but just a random guess is that unless your lead TV announcer is Vin Scully, Jack Buck or Harry Carey, I just don't see the familiarity aspect moving the number.
Would people who tune into nearly every game on BSN, stop tuning into MLB TV because Bremer would no longer be there?

This is like asking: would Vikings season ticket holders suddenly stop coming to the stadium because they stopped selling beer?

I suppose not, since you're so invested at that point.

But what would be the point of dicking with fans, like that? Why wouldn't you want to keep it consistent?


Again, as best as I can tell, Bremer, et al are actually employed by the Twins. https://www.mlb.com/twins/team/broadcasters#tv

That it's BSN or MLB TV "pipe" getting the broadcast out to fans' TVs, shouldn't matter.

As for the "pipes" would there be a cost save if you only need to put out 1 stream instead of two? Half the satellite time? Half as many production trucks? Half as many announcers, directors, producers + travel costs? Just throwing it out there. Any and all could be misassumptions on my part.
Can you clarify the question you're asking? What one vs two?
 

GophersInIowa

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Fair enough, but the Twins don't even have color announcers that are around the team all year. They have like 7 or 8 while granted are familiar with them that rotate in and out.

In this new purely hypothetical format where the announcers would do a full series and/or homestand (as opposed to dropping in for a single game), I think the "familiarity" aspect would be mitigated. Also could be done by regions, where the rotated announcers might do 30-40 Twins games (random guess) I think that would be plenty for the announcers to get the pulse of the team.

Part of my opinion is slanted in that I don't really have a strong opinion of Dick Bremer one way or another. I tune in to watch the Twins, as long as the announcers don't bug the bejeebers out of me, I am good. Just my take.
But they're guys that are connected to the Twins organization.
 



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Would people who tune into nearly every game on BSN, stop tuning into MLB TV because Bremer would no longer be there?

This is like asking: would Vikings season ticket holders suddenly stop coming to the stadium because they stopped selling beer?

I suppose not, since you're so invested at that point.

But what would be the point of dicking with fans, like that? Why wouldn't you want to keep it consistent?
I do think a significant percentage of Vikings fans would stop going to games if they stopped selling beer. As for Bremer/consistency, many could see that as an improvement (or at most a non-factor). I just don't see at as affront to fans in any way shape or form if he was no longer there. Just my take.

Again this only pertains to the future, losing the local angles/cost saves if the MLB controls broadcast rights for multiple teams.

Though just hypothetical, say simultaneously the MLB got the Twins and Guardians. As a cost save (maybe even really minor) they say for the game in Cleveland, Minnesota fans get that feed and vice versa for a game in Minneapolis.

Would there even be a minor viewership impact or backlash? I don't think there would be, and even if there was fans would get over it by the 3rd inning. COMPLETE SPECULATION on my part.

Can you clarify the question you're asking? What one vs two?
As it is now one has the MLB package on DirectTV, Cable, whatever they have both the Home and Road Broadcasts. That's 2 channels, 2 satellites feeds, 2 announcing crews including the directors etc, 2 production trucks. It seems logical that any and all of those costs would be cut in half.
 

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But they're guys that are connected to the Twins organization.
Ok, but that does not make them any better or worse, IMO as announcers or impact whether or not I am tuning in. It's about if they are good at what they do as well as put the time in to research the teams they are commenting on.

I like Glen Perkins. If you give him some lead time, I think he would be just as good commentating on a Brewers-Pirates game as Twins-Astros.

I'm not big on Justin Morneau. Dull. I don't tune in any less when he's at the mic.
 

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Ok, but that does not make them any better or worse, IMO as announcers or impact whether or not I am tuning in. It's about if they are good at what they do as well as put the time in to research the teams they are commenting on.

I like Glen Perkins. If you give him some lead time, I think he would be just as good commentating on a Brewers-Pirates game as Twins-Astros.

I'm not big on Justin Morneau. Dull. I don't tune in any less when he's at the mic.

Not sure if announcing teams are better or worse makes any difference. Do know that nearly all complaints about national broadcasts of baseball and basketball games are about perceived bias. Most of those complaints come from fans of one, or both of the teams involved. They are use to hearing from people that not only know their local teams, but want them to win.

That's how they prefer to see/hear the games. Any slight brings on the complaints. Hard not to believe that if all broadcasts not only lacked the depth of knowledge of the teams involved, but literally has no interest in who wins, that viewership wouldn't go down. Meaning that local advertising would go down too. Doubt that, at least on the baseball side, if that money could be replaced nationally.

Pretty easy to tell who the national NBA broadcasters want to win. Not sure if that would ever be the case for MLB, but who knows?

Gotta take Minnesota sports fans out of it. They seem to only get excited or want to talk about "their" team if it's losing anyway.
 




Ope3

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Not sure if announcing teams are better or worse makes any difference. Do know that nearly all complaints about national broadcasts of baseball and basketball games are about perceived bias. Most of those complaints come from fans of one, or both of the teams involved. They are use to hearing from people that not only know their local teams, but want them to win.

That's how they prefer to see/hear the games. Any slight brings on the complaints. Hard not to believe that if all broadcasts not only lacked the depth of knowledge of the teams involved, but literally has no interest in who wins, that viewership wouldn't go down. Meaning that local advertising would go down too. Doubt that, at least on the baseball side, if that money could be replaced nationally.

Pretty easy to tell who the national NBA broadcasters want to win. Not sure if that would ever be the case for MLB, but who knows?

Gotta take Minnesota sports fans out of it. They seem to only get excited or want to talk about "their" team if it's losing anyway.
I'm without a doubt in the minority (though certainly not alone) in that I prefer objectivity as opposed to completely in the tank homerism.

What I am highly skeptical of is that whether or the announcing is local or neutral drives viewership in either direction.
 

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Apparently the Twins are getting 75% of their $40 million from Bally's. Honestly they should probably take that and run for the rest of this season. The odds they're going to generate more than a prorated $30 million with MLB doing ad-hoc distribution is slim.

 

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I'm without a doubt in the minority (though certainly not alone) in that I prefer objectivity as opposed to completely in the tank homerism.

Very balanced assessment. ;)
 


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I also saw on twitter that if you have the full MLBTV subscription and live in the SD market, you are still blacked out. But can get there games but purchasing an additional Padres only subscription for $20/month. That's if you don't use the TV services in this tweet.
 

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most TV announcers are employees of the team - not the network that carries the games.

just checked - all the TV and radio announcers are listed as team employees. LaTroy Hawkins and Morneau are listed as Special assistants for baseball operations.

so I assume that even if MLB took over the rights, the same announcers would cover the games.

as noted, I did not realize until reading a recent article that Diamond (owner of Bally) had agreed to make 75% of its scheduled payments.

and that is the rub. if Bally goes away and MLB is running the broadcasts, there may be a few games on over-the-air TV, but if they follow the San Diego model, the games will be on a cable or streaming package - meaning you will still be paying for them one way or another. The Twins are not just going to say, here, have the games for free, and kiss off $40-million in revenue.
 



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decision expected on Thursday. more from the Strib:

After hearing nearly 11 hours of testimony on Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge plans to rule Thursday about whether Bally Sports North's parent company must pay the Twins the full amount of their broadcast-rights deal for this season, a payday believed to be worth more than $40 million.

Once Lopez rules over whether Diamond Sports has to pay the full amount of its contract, under bankruptcy law the company can decide whether to terminate the contract completely. As with the Padres, Manfred has committed MLB to broadcasting Twins games itself if necessary.

Major League Baseball is prepared to subsidize teams abandoned in Diamond Sports' bankruptcy as much as 80% of what they were supposed to receive, Commissioner Rob Manfred revealed during more than two hours of sometimes-contentious testimony in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Houston.

"In order to help our clubs, we said to them, no matter what happens, we'll backstop you at 80 percent of what you expected," Manfred revealed. "We wanted them to have enough cash flow to prevent a disruption of our business."

Manfred testified in support of a federal suit filed by the Twins, Guardians, Diamondbacks and Rangers against Diamond Sports after the bankrupt company skipped a quarterly payment earlier this season. The court later ordered Diamond Sports to come up with 75% of that initial payment, but the broadcaster will soon owe another full payment to those teams.

In a separate case, Bally's Sports San Diego chose not to pay the Padres this week, and MLB took over broadcasting Padres games on alternate channels Wednesday night. That could be the fate of the Twins, too, if the network terminates a contract with the team that it says loses money. Their next payment is due July 1, so changes to the Twins' TV carrier would be made in the next month.
 

short ornery norwegian

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sounds like the bankruptcy court hearing is still going. according to an article in 'Sportico,' the hearing has been in session for a total of 18 hours between Wednesday and Thursday.

sounds like a lot of legal wrangling today over how Diamond and MLB each interpret the various provisions of bankruptcy law. from the article:


Diamond arguably has some aspects of bankruptcy law on its side. By petitioning for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, Diamond gained an “automatic stay,” an order that intends to prevent the petitioning company from sustaining economic damage during the bankruptcy process and limits creditors’ ability to collect. Diamond losing its contracts with MLB teams would adversely impact its portfolio.

MLB and the teams forcefully challenge Diamond’s depiction of the law and events. They argue the judge can’t fix Diamond’s financial woes—one team attorney quipped perhaps the judge should “issue an injunction to stop people from cutting cords.”

MLB and the teams insist the value of rights hasn’t dropped, only that there is more competition for those rights in a market that features streaming and DTC. As MLB sees it, Diamond’s business model, which relies on RSNs, is antiquated and hasn’t adapted quickly enough to offer the highest and best use of the underlying asset: live game broadcasts. Baseball’s attorneys also note that Diamond’s deals with teams lack backend rights, which are at issue with Diamond’s litigation involving the Phoenix Suns’ attempting to move games to free TV.


so no decision yet...........
 

short ornery norwegian

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the Judge in bankruptcy court has ruled in favor of MLB and the Twins. from ESPN:

A U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled in favor of Major League Baseball and four of its teams in Houston on Thursday, forcing Diamond Sports Group, which runs broadcasts under the name Bally Sports, to fully pay the contracts in question.

Diamond, navigating through bankruptcy proceedings, argued it should pay the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Guardians, Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers less than what the current deals call for, arguing that the rapid rate of cord-cutting has significantly devalued the assets.

But U.S. judge Christopher Lopez, presiding over a case that lasted two full days and included testimony from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, ultimately stated: "I think the contract rate is the right answer here."

The Twins, Guardians, D-backs and Rangers had already been paid 75% of what they were owed as a means to hold them over until the conclusion of the hearing. Lopez, in opting not to adjust their contracts, ruled that Diamond needs to pay the remaining 25%, though he did not set a deadline for the payment.


So - if Diamond does not pay the Twins another (approx) $10.8-million, the rights revert to MLB. But - as the article noted - the Judge did not set a deadline for the payment, so we get to wait some more to find out whether the Twins' games will stay on BSN or be moved to some combination of streaming and/or cable TV & satellite channels
 

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So after all of that ... BSN/Diamond still have the rights to broadcast Twins games. All the ruling ultimate did was: i) require they eventually pay the full value of the final year of the deal (12 years total), this year, and ii) denied their ask for the direct-to-consumer streaming rights.


If I was them, I'd broadcast the entire season of Twins games, then refuse to pay at the end of the season.

Show me where that would be illegal.


What a joke
 

short ornery norwegian

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Whoa! color me astounded!!

during the court hearing, Twins front-office dude Dave St. Peter testified that the Twins contract with BSN this season called for BSN to pay....................

$54.8-Million. that's $54.8-million.

I believe this is the first time that figure has been revealed publicly. a lot of outlets, including Forbes magazine, have been using the figure of $43-million as their best guess/estimate as to the value of the Twins' deal with BSN,

also, news that BSN was trying to negotiate a new deal with the Twins: (from the Strib)

St. Peter testified that Diamond, in an effort to negotiate a new five-year contract earlier this year, offered to pay $54 million for 2024, with a 1% increase each following season, basically undercutting their claim that the current fee is unfair.

BSN also pays the Twins $2 million a year, St. Peter revealed, for the rights to stream its telecasts, but only to its cable or satellite subscribers.


now, BSN/Diamond has a choice to make - pay the Twins or lose the rights. as far as what G4L just posted - if BSN did not pay the Twins, they would be in violation of a court order and likely face additional penalties. back to the article:

But under bankruptcy law, Diamond Sports now has the right to ask the court to terminate the contracts, since the networks say that, with the possible exception of the Guardians' deal with Bally Great Lakes, they lose money by televising those teams' games.

The court has yet to set a date for Diamond Sports to retain or reject its contract with the Twins, though in addition to unpaid fees due in April, Bally Sports North has another payment due on July 1.
 

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Don't make the payment July 1. They're bankrupt. No money to pay with.

Keep broadcasting the games. The whole season worth.

Then at the end of the season, stiff them. We're bankrupt. No money.


Watch it
 

short ornery norwegian

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Don't make the payment July 1. They're bankrupt. No money to pay with.

Keep broadcasting the games. The whole season worth.

Then at the end of the season, stiff them. We're bankrupt. No money.


Watch it

If Diamond skipped the payment, MLB would be in court the next day asking the Judge to declare that Diamond had relinquished their rights to broadcast - and based on the Judge's comments at the recent hearing, MLB would win.

either way, MLB has guaranteed that the Twins and other affected teams - no matter the circumstances - will receive at least 80% of the money they were promised in the original agreement.
so what you are proposing is simply not plausible.

but, if you think you're right - try this - don't pay one of your creditors - like a house or rental payment - and try your strategy in court.
 

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If Diamond skipped the payment, MLB would be in court the next day asking the Judge to declare that Diamond had relinquished their rights to broadcast - and based on the Judge's comments at the recent hearing, MLB would win.
Judge only said they had to pay ....... eventually.

Why is not paying the Jul 1 payment any "worse" than not paying the previous due payment?

Sure, maybe the judge would rule like you say ......... when they actually get in court! "The next hearing is scheduled for Sept 1st" :sneaky:

either way, MLB has guaranteed that the Twins and other affected teams - no matter the circumstances - will receive at least 80% of the money they were promised in the original agreement.
Well there you go. That's all that actually matter, let's be honest!

Not the fans. Actually being able to watch the games on TV. Nope :cautious:
 




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