HomeMLB RumorsMLB Remains Frustrated With Diamond Sports Group

MLB Remains Frustrated With Diamond Sports Group

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Attorneys for MLB (as well as representatives for the NHL and NBA) fired their latest salvos at Diamond Sports Group during a Wednesday hearing in the broadcasting company’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Evan Drellich of the Athletic and Alden González of ESPN were among those to cover the developments.

The most recent source of frustration is Diamond’s stalled negotiations with Comcast (Xfinity). The sides didn’t reach agreement on a new contract before May 1, leading Comcast to pull Diamond’s Bally Sports channels off the air at the start of the month. That has left Xfinity subscribers without the ability to watch in-market games for the 12 teams carried by Diamond. (Diamond has reached agreements with each of Charter, DirecTV and Cox.)

That’s understandably irritating for both the impacted fans and the league itself. “We are coming into the middle of yet another season where Diamond is an undependable partner,” an attorney for MLB said in today’s hearing. “This is not a deal that Major League Baseball and its clubs have signed up for. … It’s been two full weeks since carriage has been dropped by Comcast, and there is not a word of when it might get picked up, and on what terms.

MLB has not filed any formal objection with the court, and it’s not clear if they’re considering doing so. Yet the Diamond/Comcast dispute only adds to MLB’s longstanding questions about Diamond’s viability. DSG reached a restructuring/streaming deal with Amazon in an effort to sustain operations past 2024. MLB officials have made no secret of their skepticism about the long-term significance of that partnership.

Representatives for Diamond tried to assuage some of those concerns by telling the court they’re close to a naming rights deal that will change the Bally Sports moniker to a new brand for 2025 and beyond. An attorney for Diamond called the ongoing dispute with Xfinity “disappointing” but said the company “(remains) optimistic” the sides will be able to work an agreement.

The court still needs to formally approve Diamond’s restructuring plan to end the bankruptcy proceedings. The confirmation hearing is currently scheduled for June 18.

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