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Saturday, March 2, 2024

MLB Pressures DSG On 2024 Broadcast Plans, Reorganization

  • League looks for immediate answers on bankrupt RSN operator's plans.
  • MLB also opposes sought-after extension for company reorganization plan.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

MLB has sent a blunt message to Diamond Sports Group, the bankrupt parent of Bally Sports: Let us know your 2024 broadcast plans — now. 

Immediately on the heels of DSG’s separate, baseball-related carriage fee dispute with DirecTV, the league made two separate filings with a U.S. bankruptcy court in Texas. 

The first asks for an immediate answer on which of the 12 MLB teams DSG airs will be carried by the company next season. The second offers a sharp rebuke of DSG’s push to extend its deadline to file a reorganization plan to Nov. 29.

Collectively, the league offers a formal legal notice that its patience is now at an end after scrambling earlier this year to produce and distribute San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games following DSG rights rejections. 

“After nearly seven months of Chapter 11 protection, one extension of exclusivity, and more than one month of court-ordered mediation, the debtors still have no plan of reorganization and no go-forward business plan,” MLB said. “It is now clear that the debtors have never been in a position to achieve the requisite consensus to adopt a viable strategy … The debtors’ time is up.”

MLB is attempting to take firmer control of its regional broadcast situation in a time of accelerating disruption in the industry. The league joins a growing number of DSG creditors, distributors, and teams and leagues in other sports also seeking greater clarity on the embattled company’s future plans. 

“At the moment, MLB and the clubs can only guess which clubs the debtors may continue to support and which may be left without a telecast partner. Merely guessing is not good enough,” the league said. 

DSG called MLB’s filings “misguided” and said it is making “significant progress” on restructuring.

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