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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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DSG’s Survival Looms As Deadlines Approach Amid Media Turmoil

  • Diamond Sports Group is looking to complete its Chapter 11 reorganization plan by Nov. 9.
  • Sinclair lost $89 million in its first full quarter since the DSG bankruptcy filing in March.
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Already bankrupt and attempting to reorganize amid a splintering media landscape, Diamond Sports Group now faces a set of fast-approaching deadlines heavily impacting its ability to survive.

The Bally Sports parent is looking to complete its Chapter 11 reorganization plan by Nov. 9, with renewed and expanded carriage deals with key distributors. But DirecTV told a U.S. bankruptcy court that DSG “should not assume” the carrier — critical to DSG’s viability — will renew its agreement, and that talks have “barely begun” to account for the recent loss of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks from Bally Sports Arizona.

“Even agreements on preliminary matters related to such renewal discussions … have thus far not been reachable,” DirecTV said.

A group of lenders to DSG similarly told the court they want to see distribution agreements completed sooner than later. A separate distribution deal between Comcast and DSG expires this fall, followed by another with Spectrum this winter.

“With the NBA and NHL seasons beginning in the fall and distribution agreements representing a substantial majority of the debtors’ revenue coming up for renewal before the end of February 2024, timing is critical,” the lender group said.

Sinclair Backs Off

Sinclair Inc., which lost $89 million in its first full quarter since the DSG bankruptcy filing in March, has had little to say on the matter after DSG last month sued its parent company and JP Morgan Chase, alleging financial misconduct and fraudulent transfers of assets amounting to about $1.5 billion.

But Sinclair did tout its local broadcast deal with the Utah Jazz, which left Warner Bros. Discovery’s AT&T SportsNet for Sinclair’s KJZZ.

“What was old is new again, and the return of local sports teams to broadcasting builds our value [with distributors],” said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley.

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