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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Diamondbacks Heading Into Another Season With MLB in Charge of Media Rights

  • The league has controlled the D-Backs’ media rights since July.
  • It's the second season of disarray after the downfall of Bally Sports Arizona.
Arizona Diamondbacks
Syndication: Arizona Republic

The Diamondbacks are entering a second season with their media rights under the MLB umbrella, with no RSN or local TV deal in sight.

The league stepped in back in July when Bally Sports Arizona and bankrupt parent Diamond Sports Group rejected the Diamondbacks’ deal. Other Phoenix teams—the Sun, Mercury, and Coyotes—have over-the-air deals and their direct-to-consumer partnerships with Kiswe.

But the Diamondbacks elected to stick with MLB for a second year. The yearly streaming deal costs $99.99 for D-Backs.TV, or $199.99 to bundle with MLB.TV. Club president and CEO Derrick Hall told Sports Business Journal on Thursday that the league is negotiating with distributors, including DirecTV and Cox, which aired games last season.

The team spoke with the Suns and their broadcaster, Gray Television, and a partnership could be in the cards after this year, Hall said to SBJ.

Last season, the MLB guaranteed clubs it would make up at least 80% of contracted rights fees, but the league has yet to commit to the three teams (also Padres and Rockies) it will handle this season. Commissioner Rob Manfred has said before that, in general, any teams brought under the league umbrella might see a dip at first, but MLB believes it can create similar revenue to what teams have received in the past.

Media rights aren’t the only fraught topic in the organization: The Diamondbacks are also pushing for renovations of Chase Field but are having trouble securing taxpayer funding. “We may run out of time in Phoenix,” owner Ken Kendrick said earlier this week. While Kendrick said he hopes that doesn’t happen, he mentioned the number of markets wanting an MLB team, especially one that’s already successful.

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