The long-awaited answers from Diamond Sports Group on its plans for the 2024 MLB season are finally beginning to emerge, as the bankrupt Bally Sports parent has struck one-year rights deals with the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, and defending World Series champion Texas Rangers.
While the regional sports network operator’s other plans in baseball for 2024 remain uncertain, the new deals give an initial dose of clarity for the upcoming season. The new agreements do not include streaming rights, but are modified to involve lower fees than what the teams had previously been receiving. Diamond said the changes will allow them to “profitably broadcast” the three teams through the end of the 2024 MLB season.
The Rangers previously received about $110 million per year in a deal running to 2034, but the new pact will bring an earlier expectation. That situation is similar to the one for the Guardians, who were receiving about $55 million with the deal stretching to ’27. The Twins, meanwhile, saw their prior DSG pact, worth $54.8 million last year, expire with the end of the ’23 season.
A U.S. bankruptcy court in Texas is set to hold a hearing Feb. 9 on a motion to approve the agreements.
“We are pleased to have reached [an] agreement with the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers that work for all parties and enable us to continue delivering high-quality, live game broadcasts on Bally Sports to dedicated fans through the 2024 season,” DSG said.
The plan for 2025 and beyond, however, remains quite uncertain. The latest pacts arrive as DSG—not long ago thought to be headed toward dissolution—is now attempting to revive itself through a three-pronged recovery plan that includes a large-scale refinancing of its debt, the arrival of Amazon as both a distributor of Bally Sports content and a post-bankruptcy investor, and a settlement of a legal dispute with corporate parent Sinclair Inc.
It is not yet known how MLB—or the NBA and NHL, for that matter—officially stand on that plan, as it would supersede prior deals in which the leagues were set later this year to regain local team rights held by DSG.