• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

Leagues’ Disclosure Demands Add Complexity to DSG’s Bankruptcy Exit

  • The bankrupt regional sports network operator makes an emergency motion for a discovery conference.
  • The company, pro leagues, and cable carriers are at odds about extensive requests for distribution contracts.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The already-challenged prospect of Diamond Sports Group exiting bankruptcy without further complications has quickly gone out the window, as a new disclosure fight adds to the mounting pressures for the Bally Sports parent. 

The regional sports network operator made an emergency motion before U.S. Bankruptcy Court for a discovery conference Tuesday to try to resolve further issues raised by MLB, the NBA, and the NHL. Building on previously stated concerns about the future viability of DSG, the leagues now have asked for copies of the company’s distribution contracts with key cable carriers such as Charter and Cox Communications, the prior deal with Comcast, as well as the post-bankruptcy deal it has with Amazon Prime Video, to help decide whether it will formally contest the reorganization. 

Discovery requests such as this, even late in a bankruptcy reorganization, are not uncommon. But the drama in this situation has been heightened on two fronts. First, a hearing to approve DSG’s exit plan has already been postponed from June 18 to July 29, and Judge Christopher Lopez has not shown an eagerness for further delays—raising the time pressure of the situation. Second, the latest request from the leagues centers on highly sensitive cable distribution pacts, and many of the involved parties are reluctant to engage in any process that threatens the confidentiality terms of those agreements. 

“The debtors would like to produce information necessary for the leagues to assess the feasibility of the debtors’ plan, but also not to wish to run afoul of applicable confidentiality provisions,” DSG said in a court filing. “This is especially true given the importance of the debtors’ relationships with the leagues, the distributors, and Amazon alike.”

Cable View

While the tone of DSG in the latest filing was respectful and nuanced, Cox was more insistent in its appeal to the court. Responding to the motion Monday, Cox said the leagues’ “sweeping” discovery requests “risk significant competitive harm to Cox”—particularly around the subject of “most-favored nation provisions” that are common in the cable business and protect one carrier from having a much worse deal with a programmer than another carrier.

Instead, the distributor offered a more targeted form of discovery that included aggregated revenue on a historical and projected basis. 

“Given the competitive sensitivity of the information and its impact on future business negotiations, Cox believes it essential that the information be aggregated across providers and markets,” the company said. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Comcast Scores With NBA Deal and Olympics, but Financial Issues Brew

The NBC Sports parent company details its new NBA rights deal, even before a league announcement.

Sports TV Ratings Tend to Dip During Election Season, but Money Will Flow

Prior history suggests the upcoming election season will again prove disruptive to sports viewership.

Verstappen’s Slump Sparks F1 Ratings: Will More U.S. Fans Watch?

Formula One viewership has stalled over the last year as Verstappen has dominated.

WNBA All-Star Weekend Signals League’s Growth, Delivers Action

The WNBA All-Star weekend was a showcase of the league’s rise driven by rookies.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

TNT Matches Amazon’s Offer, “Inside the NBA” Given New Life


Featured Today

The FTC Noncompete Ruling Could Change MMA As We Know It

Fighters could see their options—and earnings—grow.
July 21, 2024

O No Canada: The Next Big Sports Betting Scandal Could Erupt North of the Border

‘It’s open-season for match-fixing up there.’
July 20, 2024

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.
Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
July 16, 2024

Women’s Sports Merch Is a $4 Billion Market, but Supply Isn’t Meeting Demand

Retailers can’t make women’s sports apparel fast enough.

WNBA Smashes Ratings Record With Competitive All-Star Game

The game was the league’s highest rated in more than 20 years.
July 22, 2024

Cheryl Miller Joins WNBA Union in Blasting $2.2 Billion ‘Lowball’ Deal

‘Not enough. Not even close,’ Cheryl Miller said.
Hosts of Inside the NBA on TNT
July 22, 2024

TNT Sports’ Parent Moves to Keep NBA Rights Despite Financial Woes

Warner Bros. Discovery is attempting to make good on its bid to retain NBA rights.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 22, 2024

Today’s the Day for WBD to Match Amazon’s NBA Offer

Amazon may have boxed out WBD in its offer.
July 22, 2024

Thom Brennaman Returns to Booth Years After Viral Slur

‘There’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos.’
July 21, 2024

Netflix Reigns Supreme: NFL Deal, Robust Earnings Highlight Q2 Report

Netflix delivers a strong quarterly report, helping ease prior investor concerns.
July 18, 2024

WBD at a Crossroads: NBA Rights Decision Could Determine Its Future

Financial analysts argue for a large-scale overhaul of the TNT Sports parent company.