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Bally Sports Owner Nearing Bankruptcy, Banking On New Service: Report

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Diamond Sports Group, which is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the owner of various Bally Sports RSNs, is heading towards bankruptcy, according to a new report which paints a very complicated and unknown picture for the future of the company, and of live local sports.

The history of Bally Sports is a short, but complicated one. Previously known as Fox Sports, the channels were sold and rebranded as Bally Sports. However, this sale and rebranding eventually resulted in new negotiations with live TV services. Many of which were unwilling to pay higher rates to carry the channels.

It would seem this, along with fewer subscribers to the standalone Bally Sports Plus streaming service, has resulted in some major financial issues for Diamond. According to a new Bloomberg report, Diamond Sports Group is now facing a “complex $8.6 billion debt restructuring in bankruptcy court.”

While it remains to be seen what exactly the end result will look like following any potential restructuring or bankruptcy, the impact could be far-reaching. For example, teams could end up having their revenue cut due to existing contracts ending or payments being halted.

Interestingly, the report does mention how Diamond Sports Group is currently considering launching another streaming service as a way to help with its financial situation.

Different from the existing Bally Sports Plus service, which requires people to sign up on a monthly basis to get access to their local sports channels, the new service will reportedly be available to buy on a per-game basis. In fact, the report suggests that not only will individual games be available to buy, but viewers could potentially just pay to watch the final few minutes of a game.

According to the report, however, Diamond is also facing resistance from league partners over the handing of any additional streaming rights. Resistance which could stop the launch of the new streaming service.

At present, DirecTV Stream is the only major live TV streaming service to carry the various Bally Sports RSNs. fuboTV did recently announce that it had struck a deal for the return of the RSNs, although the actual returning of the regional sports networks to the channel lineup has yet to happen.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
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