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

ESPN has a story up recapping the current situation.



of note - there was a good deal of discussion/speculation on MLB's efforts to offer its own streaming plan as a hub for multiple teams with no blackouts. the consensus seems to be that MLB will need to have the streaming rights to at least 15 teams and hopefully more to make this work. one un-named exec predicted that eventually, they might be able to get over 20 teams involved - but the big-money teams will fight any type of local media revenue-sharing.

But - the big but (as opposed to a big butt...) - in order for this to happen, Diamond has to fail in its bid to emerge from bankruptcy. If Diamond survives, it will be almost impossible for MLB to make its plan work.

oh, the story also recaps that Diamond has sold its naming rights to FanDuel - so if Diamond survives, its RSN's will re-brand as FanDuel Sports this Fall.
 


Diamond/Bally loses more cable customers in another carriage rights dispute - impacting fans of 6 MLB teams.
same issue as Comcast - the cable company wants to move the RSN's to a higher-priced Sports tier. according to Sportico:

The Bally Sports RSNs have gone dark on Altice USA’s Optimum cable systems, as negotiations to renew the legacy carriage deal expired at midnight. The operator, which serves 2.09 million video subscribers across 21 states, issued a statement in which it charged Diamond Sports Group with seeking “unsustainable demands” for the 12 RSNs that were knocked off its channel lineup earlier this morning.

In a nod to Diamond’s ongoing bankruptcy case, an Optimum rep said it was unreasonable to ask subscribers to shoulder the burden of increasingly high carriage fees when the future of the RSNs remains up in the air. “We do not believe it is fair for Diamond … to ask customers to pay high rates for their channels when they are still negotiating content rights with various sports leagues and do not yet know what content will be available to their viewers,” the spokesperson said, by way of a statement issued Monday.


(Diamond responded) "Unfortunately, Altice has rejected multiple proposals with terms similar to what other distributors have already agreed to while demanding carriage on a premium sports tier that would require fans to pay more to retain access, demonstrating they are unwilling to let their subscribers enjoy broadcasts of their favorite teams.”

The clubs blacked out in their home markets include the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.

-----
the article notes that traditional cable TV providers have lost 12.3% of total customers in the last 12 months.
 

and now, 2 NHL teams have cut ties with Diamond/Bally Sports. from Next TV (a site that covers streaming video and related issues)

The operator of the troubled Bally Sports regional sports network initiated the loss of its second NHL franchise in a week on Wednesday, when it asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy to allow it to cut ties with the Dallas Stars, a lynchpin tenant on Bally Sports Southwest, ahead of the upcoming 2024-25 NHL season.

"The Debtors also have been engaged in ongoing discussions with the NHL and the Stars regarding, among other things, the Stars Agreement and the parties’ go-forward relationships. During these discussions, the Stars requested that the parties mutually terminate the Stars Agreement in advance of the 2024–25 NHL season," Diamond said in its motion, filed Wednesday.

Should the court grant the request, Diamond would be left with nine remaining NHL teams under the Bally Sports banner.

Earlier this week, the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers announced they will not be returning to Bally Sports next season and instead will broadcast their games in over-the-air channels in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers via a broadcast deal with Scripps Sports.

The deal will cover most of the Panthers' regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs. And direct-to-consumer streaming service is also part of the plan.
 

The Minnesota Wild should be the next team to do it.
 


Earlier this week, the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers announced they will not be returning to Bally Sports next season and instead will broadcast their games in over-the-air channels in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers via a broadcast deal with Scripps Sports.

The deal will cover most of the Panthers' regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs. And direct-to-consumer streaming service is also part of the plan.
So the Panthers see this is a problem and are using the offseason to put together a better plan for next year. What forward thinkers! Meanwhile the Twins were sitting with their thumbs up their asses an entire year after they figured out this was a problem and did nothing.

Additional props to the Panthers for going OTA. I'm guessing this is a stop-gap solution, but it guarantees the games will be on TV, unlike some intrepid organizations.
 

Update - with a big caveat -

Puck news' John Ourand is apparently reporting that Diamond Sports and Comcast have re-opened negotiations.

But - I am not a Puck subscriber and most of the information is behind a paywall.

what little I can see indicates that Diamond may be getting desperate to reach a new deal with Comcast before the July 29th Bankruptcy court hearing. Ourand is apparently suggesting that Diamond may be willing to accept Comcast's demand that the Diamond RSN's be moved to a higher-priced Sport Tier, which has been the main sticking point in the negotiations. in essence, a bad deal is better than no deal.

which gets back to the Question - if you're a Comcast customer, would you pay the extra money to watch the Twins, Wolves and Wild on a Sports Tier? (I assume some people already do...)
 

OK - more info on negotiations between Diamond and Comcast. short version - the two sides are talking again and want to postpone some dates - apparently to give them more time to negotiate a possible new deal.

from Sportico:

In a four-page motion filed Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Diamond asked to shift an upcoming deadline back by nearly a week as the principal owner of the Bally Sports RSNs prepares for the confirmation hearing at the end of the month. Attorneys for the company are looking to move the voting/opt-out deadline and the plan-objection deadline from July 18 to July 24, which would push both dates within five days of the July 29 hearing.

the request comes as Diamond and Comcast have returned to the negotiating table after a long stretch of radio silence.

Executives who’ve confirmed that Comcast and Diamond are once again on speaking terms caution that the adversaries remain leagues apart on a number of key deal points.

Comcast won’t budge on its resolution to move the RSNs to a higher-priced digital tier, while Diamond would much prefer to remain on the basic tier, which is about $20 cheaper each month than the cabler’s beefed-up “Ultimate TV” package.

The motion to delay the voting and plan-objection deadlines has no material impact on the July 29 confirmation hearing, which will proceed as planned.


----
(signing a new deal with Comcast would almost certainly help Diamond's chances of getting a favorable ruling from the Bankruptcy court Judge, which would allow Diamond to emerge from bankruptcy. either way, MLB is expected to ask the Judge to rule against Diamond. the NHL has also been critical of Diamond, while the NBA has been quieter. )
 





Well, this is potentially interesting. according to Cord-Cutters News, people have noticed what looks like a stand-alone Twins channel showing up on some cable TV guides. details below:

Recently, the future of Bally Sports has been in doubt. The network’s owners, Diamond Sports Group, have until the end of this month to find a plan to get out of bankruptcy. Now, though, it seems that MLB teams, at least the Minnesota Twins, are making plans in case the network shuts down before the end of the season.

It was recently reported that the team is in talks to build a direct-to-consumer streaming service as a backup plan. Now, though, Cord Cutters News can confirm that thanks to our readers, a Twins TV channel started appearing on some cable networks this week as a possible replacement for Bally Sport.

The channel for now is off-air, but this is similar to how other MLB teams operated when they lost TV rights with Bally Sports. Launching a partnership with some local cable companies to air the games and a streaming service.

Cord Cutters News reached out to Bally Sports and some of the local cable networks for comment, and at this time, we have not heard anything back at the time of this publishing.


this on X (Twitter) from "Jason's Storm"
@CordCuttersNews
saw this on my cable companies live TV streaming channel line up. It not even on their official guide. Channel 41 has a Minnesota @Twins logo as a placeholder. A fallback if @BallySportsNOR
goes belly up?

1721243560696.png
 





Top Bottom