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The San Diego Padres are the latest team to face the ramifications of the Diamond Sports bankruptcy.
Diamond Sports has reportedly already missed a payment to the Padres, an unsurprising result of their financial problems.
But according to Sports Business Journal, they also have a “good chance” of missing the grace period too. If Diamond doesn’t make up the missing payment by May 30th, it could trigger a rights reversion.
Essentially, instead of Diamond owning the rights to show games on Bally Sports San Diego, the team itself would regain control.
MLB would then be able to directly produce the broadcasts themselves, in conjunction with the Padres.
This was brought up as a potential possibility before with other teams, but has yet to materialize.
READ: DIAMOND SPORTS MISSES PAYMENT TO CINCINNATI REDS, MEANING MLB COULD TAKE OVER BROADCASTS SOON
While the Padres were certainly counting on broadcasting revenue to pay their exorbitant payroll, this might not be the worst-case scenario for them or MLB.
Could Padres Games Be Blackout Free?
Major League Baseball has made no secret of its desire to end cable derived blackouts.
Along with pace of play, blackouts have become of the game’s biggest problems. In an era where the majority of fans, especially young fans, follow from their phones, games are still nearly impossible to watch on the go.
If the Padres do regain their rights and start broadcasting with MLB, it could mean that local fans in San Diego have an opportunity to watch, restriction free.
For a league trying to enhance the marketability of its major stars, it would be a major step forward.
The Padres have big name players like Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Giving young San Diegans a chance to watch them day in and day out without blackouts would be a tremendous opportunity.
Given the number of teams potentially impacted by missed payments, it could also become a blueprint.
With the deadline coming in just a few days, we won’t have long to wait before seeing MLB’s first self-broadcast.