Diamond Sports Misses Payment to Cincinnati Reds, Meaning MLB Could Take Over Broadcasts Soon

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The fallout from the Diamond Sports bankruptcy continues to be a major story around Major League Baseball.

Diamond Sports, the owner of the Bally Sports television networks, declared bankruptcy last month. The announcement affected a substantial number of MLB teams who broadcast games on Bally networks.

Speculation started that those teams could wind up missing out on expected payments, considering Diamond’s financial troubles.

Sure enough, MLB recently filed a motion supporting the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians attempting to recover money.


Now there’s an even more immediate issue with a different team.

Diamond Sports reportedly told the Reds that they will be missing their rights fee payment, according to Sports Business Journal.

That triggered a 15-day grace period for Diamond, where the group can fulfill its obligations without any penalties.

However, if they go past the 15-day period without paying, MLB apparently believes they can recover the team’s media rights. If that does occur, MLB may be taking over production of the team’s television broadcasts, a first for the league.

Diamond Sports Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OHIO – APRIL 14: Spencer Steer #7 and TJ Friedl #29 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after Steer scored a run in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Great American Ball Park on April 14, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Diamond Sports Bankruptcy Changing The Game For MLB

Because the Reds own a portion of the Bally Sports Ohio network, their rights are not part of the bankruptcy proceeding.

That’s a clear difference from the Guardians and Twins situation, and could allow MLB to take over more quickly than in other markets.

Sports Business Journal reported that if MLB does take over control of the team’s rights, they’d use existing broadcast personnel. A source told them that the league will be able to get distribution from DirecTV and cable companies on a brand new channel.

While the disruption certainly isn’t what MLB or the Reds wanted, it does provide some intriguing opportunities.

Blackout rules have become increasingly absurd as the league tries to grow the game. Resetting those agreements, especially in the blackout heavy Midwest, is extremely desirable for MLB.

Presumably, teams like the Reds would no longer face the same draconian restrictions, making for easier streaming options for fans.

Either way, given the league could take over as soon as May 6, we’ll find out soon enough.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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