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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Rangers Claim Diamond Sports Missed Rights Fee Payment

  • The Rangers requested to join MLB, Twins, and the Guardians in seeking an emergency hearing over the unpaid fees.
  • Diamond Sports filed for bankruptcy protection in March to restructure $8 billion in debt.
Texas Rangers wants to join in suit to collect rights fees from Diamond Sports.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers filed a motion in Diamond Sports’ bankruptcy case Tuesday after the parent company for Bally Sports networks missed a quarterly payment over the weekend. 

In the filing, the Rangers requested to join Major League Baseball, Minnesota Twins, and the Cleveland Guardians in seeking an emergency hearing over the unpaid fees. 

The Rangers are the fourth club to come forward in the bankruptcy case to allege Diamond Sports has missed payments. 

“That ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ is a well-recognized, simple, but axiomatic economic principle,” the Rangers said in the filing. “Everyone understands it—everyone, apparently, except [Diamond Sports]. Here, they are getting lunch—using the right to create content based on the Rangers’ baseball games, and in turn, selling that content to distributors—but without paying for it.”  

Last Wednesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks filed its motion where the club stated Diamond Sports “continues “to consume the Diamondbacks’ product without paying for it.”

Diamond Sports filed for bankruptcy protection on March 14 to restructure $8 billion in debt. Diamond Sports, a Sinclair subsidiary, owns and manages 19 Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks. 

The Rangers’ RSN broadcast deal was initially made with Fox over a decade before Sinlcair acquired the rights from Disney. Disney was required to divest the RSNs as part of the company’s 1999 purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox.

Texas’ agreement is worth reported to be around $150 million per year and runs through 2034. The exact details of the agreement were not listed in Tuesday’s bankruptcy filing. 

The Athletic was the first outlet to report the filing. 

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