The Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, and Minnesota Twins are three MLB teams that receive money from Diamond Sports, the parent business of Bally Sports Regional Networks, according to court documents.
MLB and the three clubs filed emergency filings seeking the bankruptcy court to intervene after Diamond stopped paying the three teams while they continued to broadcast their games. MLB and the teams reacted strongly to the most recent development, claiming Diamond has no authority to reduce their fees and fail to compensate them while their games are being broadcast.
“What is extraordinary is that the debtor Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) continue to broadcast Twins and Guardians games without payment,” said MLB and the Twins and Guardians in a joint statement.
The Diamondbacks filed a motion of their own to demand full payment or an end to the contract. Because Diamond stopped paying the Diamondbacks prior to filing Chapter 11, they are technically in a different legal category than the other 13 teams covered by Diamond RSNs and are therefore filing on their own.
Diamond doesn’t deny it has the money to pay the tens of millions of dollars it owes the three teams, but argues that bankruptcy laws allow it to restructure the contracts to better reflect market value. When Diamond signed many of the team’s deals, it was before the accelerated pace of cord-cutting, a trend that helped land the company in bankruptcy court.