• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

MLB’s Takeover Of Padres’ Rights Is First Reckoning For RSNs

  • League seizes local media distribution in San Diego after bankrupt Diamond Sports Group misses a rights payment.
  • MLB, Padres face uphill climb to replace lost revenue.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After months of tension, Major League Baseball’s day of reckoning with regional sports networks has arrived — which could have seismic effects on one of the sport’s key revenue streams.

Since early this year, MLB has been actively preparing to take over the local TV rights of 14 teams served by Bally Sports and its bankrupt parent, Diamond Sports Group. Now, Diamond has officially missed its rights payment to the San Diego Padres, prompting the league’s immediate takeover of the team’s local rights.

Starting Wednesday, MLB will distribute Padres games on DirecTV, Cox, AT&T U-Verse, fuboTV, Spectrum, and MLB.TV, dispensing with blackouts typically shutting local fans out from watching their teams. 

With these changes, the ballclub’s local footprint grows from about 1.13 million homes to around 3.26 million.

“While we’re disappointed that Diamond Sports Group failed to live up to their contractual agreement with the club, we are taking this opportunity to reimagine the distribution model, remove blackouts on local games, improve the telecast, and expand the reach of Padres games by more than 2 million homes,” said Noah Garden, MLB chief revenue officer.

But as the league and newly hired executive VP of local media Billy Chambers implement this plan, uncertainty abounds. Local media is typically one of the top three revenue streams for any MLB club. The Padres — who are paying a club-record $250 million player payroll this year — are looking to replace the annual $60 million received from Diamond.

More missed payments are expected as Diamond wrestles with more than $8 billion in debt. Diamond has only paid half what it owes to Arizona, Cleveland, Minnesota, and Texas — and will attempt to lower those fees in a bankruptcy court hearing Wednesday.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Teoscar Hernandez Wins $1 Million at Home Run Derby

The Derby is one of the most lucrative skill contests in sports.
Jul 4, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium.

The $500 Million Juan Soto Question Lingers at MLB’s All-Star Game

Yankees superstar could attract second-largest player contract in U.S. team sports history.
Apr 29, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson (2) swings through a first inning solo home run against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Home Run Derby Has Become a Big Business Opportunity

New format, narrowing gap with All-Star Game ratings highlight the event’s importance.
Jul 14, 2024; Miami, FL, USA; fans rush the gates before the Copa America Final match between Argentina and Colombia at Hard Rock Stadium.

Copa América Fallout: Greater Logistical Challenges Await 2026 World Cup

Argentina beat Colombia after unticketed fans entered the stadium.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Formula E is Powering Its Own Future

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
July 11, 2024

Will They or Won’t They? TNT Must Match Bids or Say Goodbye to NBA

A spurned media partner has sued the league before.
July 12, 2024

Copa América Gets Near-Ideal Miami Final After Sometimes Rocky Tournament

Argentina and Colombia face off Sunday evening.
Sponsored

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

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 10, 2024

‘Where’s truTV?’ March Madness Channel Is Now TNT Sports’ New Star

Warner Bros. Discovery will make its sports emphasis on truTV ‘even more pronounced and consistent.’
July 10, 2024

NBA Agrees to $76 Billion in Media-Rights Deals, but TNT Still Looms

Welcome back, ‘Roundball Rock.’ Farewell, ‘Inside the NBA’?
Stadium with NFL logo at the mid-field line
July 10, 2024

‘Nonsensical’: NFL Blasts Massive Jury Award in Latest Sunday Ticket Case Filings

The league asked for a new trial and called the damages ‘indefensible.’
May 2, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Referee Kenny Bayless (center) separates Manny Pacquiao (left) from Floyd Mayweather during their boxing bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
July 9, 2024

The Most Watched Boxing Matches Ever

The most-watched boxing match was the 2015 bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao which drew 4.6 million PPV buys.