Bankrupt Diamond Sports gets extension to score MLB streaming deal with Amazon

Bankrupt regional sports network Diamond Sports got a few extra innings to work out a streaming deal with Amazon after a bankruptcy judge delayed the embattled company’s showdown with Major League Baseball.

The nation’s largest RSN, which operates under the Bally’s name, owns the broadcast rights to half the NBA teams, a third of NHL clubs, and 11 MLB squads, including the World Series champion Texas Rangers — and the streaming rights to five of them.

It had sought to sell the streaming rights for all of the baseball teams to Amazon for roughly $150 million but MLB rejected that proposal, as The Post reported exclusively this week.

Now, Diamond Sports’ creditors have hatched a plan to partner with Amazon for the streaming rights to the five teams it does own, sources told The Post.

MLB, meanwhile, has offered Diamond a deal that reduces the media rights fees it pays for three of the 11 teams in exchange for the league gaining the digital rights for all Diamond teams in 2025, sources said.

Diamond may still accept MLB’s offer, but wants more time to negotiate with Amazon, two sources closely following the situation said.

A Houston bankruptcy judge granted that wish, pushing back a hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday until Jan. 19.

Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer throwing a ball in the air.
The fate of who will broadcast Texas Rangers games in 2024 is still up in the air. AP

Diamond’s senior lenders are owed $650 million and are generally supportive of the MLB plan, sources said. They want Diamond to wind down its operations after the 2024 MLB season and sell its profitable media contracts to rival networks, the insiders said.

However, the junior lenders — who are owed $8 billion — want to scrape together enough money to pay off the senior lenders and keep Diamond afloat, sources said.

The junior creditors, led by Prudential, are in settlement talks with Diamond parent Sinclair Broadcasting over a $1.5 billion lawsuit that alleged Sinclair saddled the RSN with debt, according to one of the sources.

A member of the Houston Astros stands in the dugout in front of a Bally Sports sign before the team's spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 2, 2023, in Jupiter, Fla.
Dimaond which operates under Bally Sports, is trying to come up with an alternative to MLB’s plans for the network.

If they are able to reach a financial deal with Sinclair, the junior creditors would use those proceeds along with money from a possibly restructured Amazon deal, and Diamond’s cash and receivables to pay off the senior creditors in full, the sources said.

The junior creditors would then take over Diamond and attempt to turn around the business — which is beset by continued cord-cutting and plunging TV ad revenue.

One option would be to dump the unprofitable contracts to broadcast Rangers, Cleveland Guardians, and Minnesota Twins games.

Diamond declined to comment.

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