Diamond Sports to stop broadcasting Padres games; MLB to take over streaming

Diamond Sports Group will not broadcast San Diego Padres games after Tuesday, with the media company missing its rights fee payment by Tuesday night’s deadline. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Diamond Sports said in a statement to The Athletic that it “decided not to provide additional funding to the San Diego RSN that would enable it to make the rights payment to the San Diego Padres during the grace period.” The company said it is continuing to broadcast games for teams under its contracts.
  • Bally Sports San Diego — the San Diego RSN and broadcaster of Padres games — is not part of Diamond’s bankruptcy filing since it is a joint venture between the Padres and Diamond Sports. Therefore, Diamond cannot argue against it in bankruptcy court and there are no bankruptcy law protections that can overcome a missed payment.
  • The missed payment by Diamond Sports means that media rights revert to the Padres, with MLB producing the team’s game in Miami on Wednesday. The league was notified at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday that the payment wouldn’t be coming, and MLB had people in place to be able to handle the game in the event that happened.
  • MLB is not guaranteeing the Padres (or any team that ends up in a similar situation) will make up its lost money, but the league and the other teams will backstop teams like the Padres that don’t receive payments, sources briefed on the plans told The Athletic.

How can fans watch Padres games going forward?

MLB will air Padres games on the MLB TV app for free through Sunday. After that, fans will have to pay $19.99 a month or $74.99 for the rest of the season. MLB also has struck local media deals with Spectrum, Cox, Fubo, AT&T UVerse and others.

Padres broadcasters are employed by the team, so they are to remain the same. The league announced that the Padres’ primary TV broadcasters Don Orsillo, Mark Grant and Bob Scanlan will remain in their roles, while 97.3 The Fan’s radio team will also continue with Jesse Agler and Tony Gwynn Jr. calling games from the booth.



How to watch Padres after Diamond Sports’ exit

What’s next?

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that this news emerges on the eve of Wednesday’s mega-hearing in bankruptcy court where Diamond will argue it should pay four teams less than the contracted rate because of changing economic conditions. And maybe it’s not a coincidence as Diamond’s lawyers are sure to use the Padres as proof the RSN contracts are too rich.

Diamond stopped paying the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Guardians, the Minnesota Twins and Arizona Diamondbacks (the bankruptcy judge ordered Diamond last month to pay half what it owed until he rules). Wednesday’s hearing will be a duel over the value of baseball teams as media content and Diamond can underscore its contention that cord-cutting has eviscerated the old economic paradigms with its decision to walk away from one of the most intriguing teams in MLB. — Kaplan

What this means for Padres, MLB

The Padres…

Read More: Diamond Sports to stop broadcasting Padres games; MLB to take over streaming 2023-05-31 05:18:41

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