It looks like the rumor that has been circulating for months is finally happening. Diamond Sports, the Ohio operator of Bally Sports, has announced that it will not pay the Cincinnati Reds for the rights to broadcast their games. in the past.
John Aurand of the Sports Business Journal revealed that they have a 15-day grace period to make the payment without penalty. He is reporting a lot of interesting stuff. The original Diamond Sports team was not part of the bankruptcy proceedings as it was the Reds’ Bally Sports Ohio division. That makes it different from many groups who don’t receive their payments on time.
Because of that situation, Major League Baseball believes they can immediately take over the broadcast rights to Cincinnati Reds games if payment is not made within the next 15 days. The first game “in the air” will be Saturday, May 6 against the Chicago White Sox.
Major League Baseball has been planning for such a scenario for many of its teams and has put in place plans to immediately take over the production and broadcast of games should this happen. Fans won’t have to go without watching the game on television – at least until they have the option to watch it somehow. Ourand reports that Major League Baseball has a “handshake agreement” with DirecTV and Spectrum to broadcast the games if they decide to take them over. If they take over the production, they will not continue to air on Bally Sports Ohio, but it has not been announced which channel they will be on. According to previous reports, in the short term such a situation could lead to the placement of games in local broadcast areas on the MLB Network. MLB.tv is cited as an alternative option — even in areas that would otherwise be black.
The Reds’ distribution team looks set to continue as it is. And most of the workers who produce the game will remain as well, as almost all of them seem to be contracted to the company that hires them to do the same thing for Major League Baseball.