Report: MLB closer to streaming Padres games as Bally Sports prepares to file for bankruptcy
The Padres are among about a half-dozen teams that could have their games streamed by Major League Baseball this season, the fallout as Diamond Sports prepares to file for bankruptcy on March 17, according to a New York Post report.
Operating as Bally Sports, Diamond Sports owns broadcast rights to 14 baseball teams. The company is expected to use bankruptcy proceedings to reject the contracts of at least four teams, including the Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians.
For the record:
2:31 p.m. March 13, 2023The original reporting stated MLB would broadcast the games for free for fans; while that could be the case on a short-term basis to make sure all games are available to be viewed, MLB would ultimately charge once broadcast rights are reacquired from Diamond Sports.
The Post reported that Diamond stands to lose $20 million annually on San Diego alone.
The Union-Tribune previously reported that approximately $50 million the Padres are owed from its agreement with Bally Sports San Diego would be diminished or even completely wiped out in 2023 with a bankruptcy filing.
According to The Post, MLB has not yet finalized exactly how teams in affected markets would be able to view games while the league negotiates with cable companies for lower contracts. MLB would likely settle on pay schedules for both traditional TV and streaming options, though games could be made available free of charge until the details are ironed out.
Across the board, broadcast teams would likely remain in place, although those details will vary across the board as Bally announcers are team employees in some markets — as Don Orsillo, Mark Grant and Bob Scanlan are with the Padres — and not in others.
Currently, out-of-market games can be viewed through a $149.99 annual subscription to the MLB.TV app. Bally Sports currently charges $19.99 a month for its sports streaming packages.
Diamond operates 19 regional sports networks that hold the broadcast rights for 42 teams in MLB, the NBA and NHL. The agreement with MLB teams account for approximately $1 billion in revenue.
Diamond was formed after Sinclair Broadcast Group paid $10.6 billion for Fox Sports Networks’ regional channels in 2019, which included Fox Sports San Diego.