The temporary Bally Sports agreement between Diamond Sports Group and the NBA has reportedly been approved, ensuring basketball games for 15 teams remain available on Bally Sports for the remainder of the season.
Details on the new agreement emerged early last week, confirming that Diamond and the NBA wanted to change their existing agreement by reducing the length down to the current season. At the time, however, the agreement was still subject to court approval.
According to Awful Announcing, that approval has now been granted by a federal bankruptcy judge. As part of the previously reported agreement, it is expected that the rights to games will be returned to the league once the approved one-year deal expires.
According to the report, similar deals are currently trying to be agreed for the MLB and NHL, the other two main leagues shown on Bally Sports networks, and there’s the potential for the NHL deal to be agreed as early as this Friday.
However, it would seem that new objections to Diamond’s approach to agreeing deals have been made. For example, the lawyer for the MLB was noted arguing that while a deal for the NBA is positive, there’s no sign of a deal for the MLB on the cards yet, which raises major issues for the 11 MLB teams still contracted to Bally Sports.
Probably more notable are the objections raised by Sinclair. Sinclair Broadcast Group owns Diamond and the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings have raised tensions between the two companies. With Diamond seemingly on the cusp of agreeing new short-term deals with the NBA, MLB, and NHL, Sinclair’s lawyer reportedly expressed concern that these deals effectively confirm the end for Diamond is now in view.
There’s also the issue of money owed, with Diamond reportedly set to own Sinclair around $250 million in management fees by the end of the 2024 MLB season. Something Sinclair’s lawyer reportedly highlighted has yet to be addressed in the cooperation agreement set out between Diamond and its creditors.