Wednesday September 27, 2023

NBA, MLB, and NHL Eyeing 21 Bally TV Networks

  • The NBA, the NHL, and MLB are reportedly interested in buying Sinclair's regional sports networks.
  • The networks cover 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 NHL teams.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Three major sports leagues could take over Sinclair’s regional sports networks. 

The NBA, the NHL, and MLB are reportedly interested in acquiring the 21 networks of Sinclair’s Diamond Sports Group, which bought the RSNs from Disney in 2019 for $10.6 billion.

The reports arrive amid growing rumors that Diamond — thought to be valued around $3 billion — could face bankruptcy in the next three-to-six months, posing a threat to the networks’ teams.

  • The Bally Sports networks claim half of the local broadcast markets in the U.S.
  • The networks hold exclusive local rights to 14 MLB teams, 16 NBA teams, and 12 NHL teams.

The discussions are expected to begin soon. Sinclair would reportedly propose giving Diamond’s equity to creditors, who would then sell a majority of it to the leagues. Diamond would retain a minority stake.

“They will offer it to all three leagues,” a New York Post source said. “There is a reasonable likelihood this will all happen.”

Diamond has reportedly been telling the leagues that in the event of a bankruptcy, it will be able to keep the games without paying teams their rights fees.

An NBA spokesperson said the report is not true.

Streaming Stipulation

On Sept. 26, Diamond is set to launch a streaming service with a $20 monthly fee, but it might not help as much as Sinclair was hoping. 

MLB has only transferred rights for five of the 14 teams and is reportedly considering launching its own streaming service.

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