Diamond Sports Group and the NBA have reached a deal which ensures games for 15 teams will continue to broadcast locally on Bally Sports for the remainder of the season. After that, however, the NBA teams involved will be able to strike new distribution deals.
This is the latest development in the ongoing Diamond Sports bankruptcy saga that has seen a number of contracts with teams being torn up including the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and the Washington Wizards. When it comes to the remaining 15 NBA teams, those contracts also now look set to be torn up … next year.
Revealed in a court filing, the agreement between Diamond Sports and the NBA only lasts for the current season. While the details of the agreement are not known, it seems likely that the NBA will be paid less than originally agreed for the rest of this season.
In addition, and even though the deal has been agreed between Diamond Sports and the NBA, it is still subject to court approval.
“Our newly-signed agreements with the NBA, Comcast and our creditors reflect significant progress on Diamond’s path forward. Diamond has been broadcasting NBA and NHL games and will continue to do so while the Court considers our motions, and while discussions with the NHL finalize with respect to their own new deal,” Diamond Sports Group said in a statement to Associated Press.
The upside from the point of view of the NBA is that once the current season comes to an end, the broadcast rights will be returned to the NBA, making it possible for new distribution agreements to be made.
Teams affected by this deal include the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs.