Diamond Sports Group’s Lifeline: NBA Teams Wait Out Bankruptcy as Talks Continue with Comcast and DirecTV

Diamond Sports Group receives temporary delay on company reorganization vote

The reorganization plan for Diamond Sports Group has received another extension from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez, giving creditors until May 22 to vote on the company’s solvency. If approved, the final ruling on Diamond’s solvency will be on June 18. In the meantime, negotiations with distributors Comcast and DirecTV are ongoing, following a recent agreement with Charter. Since the majority of Diamond’s revenue comes from these distributors, reaching a reasonable deal with Comcast is crucial for the broadcaster to exit bankruptcy.

Negotiations between Diamond and its distributors seem to be focused on the NBA, MLB, and NHL broadcasts on Diamond’s Bally Sports networks, which are considered too valuable to fail. However, sources indicate that Charter prefers a different approach to negotiations, aiming to maintain current subscribers on non-tiered packaging while transitioning new subscribers to a tiered plan. On the other hand, Comcast is inclined to move all sports subscriptions into a tiered scenario, potentially decreasing revenue for Diamond.

Diamond’s financial situation has improved from facing liquidation to seeking a path out of over $8B in debt with the help of creditors and a potential investment from Amazon. This investment could lead to streaming Bally Sports broadcasts in the future and amount to $115M contingent upon successful emergence from bankruptcy. The NBA, which has 15 teams connected to Diamond, is eagerly waiting for the company’s viability again as it impacts their operations as well.

The uncertainty surrounding Diamond’s future has left NBA teams associated with the broadcaster in limbo and prompted them to explore alternative broadcast options for upcoming seasons. As negotiations continue, the outcome will determine whether or not Diamond Sports Group can continue broadcasting major sports events indefinitely or if it will face further challenges in its financial journey towards recovery and success

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