D-backs listed on MLB’s emergency motion in Diamond Sports bankruptcy
Apr 6, 2023, 1:05 PM
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks were listed on an emergency motion filed by the MLB on Thursday amid Diamond Sports Group’s bankruptcy, The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan reported.
Diamond is the largest owner of regional sports networks (has the rights to televise 42 professional teams including Suns and D-backs) and filed for Chapter 11 on March 14 after missing $140 million in interest payments. The company said in a financial filing last fall it had a debt of $8.67 billion.
The MLB said Thursday said that three teams have not been paid including the D-backs, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians. The motion demanded payment for both the Twins and the Guardians by April 13 or else the league will have to terminate the contract and step in.
Arizona was not listed in the demands because the network exercised a contractual grace period with the D-backs to “maximize flexibility” that ended two days after the company filed for bankruptcy.
The D-backs, among four other teams (Tigers, Brewers, Rays and Rangers), reserved rights to join the motion if Diamond does not pay the teams in the future.
Diamond continues to broadcast Guardians and Twins games on Bally Sports North and Bally Sports Great Lakes, despite missing the April 1 payment. The MLB announced they are prepared to air games locally via MLB Network or stream on MLB.TV in case it did take over.
The Athletic reported that the Guardians’ annual fee with Diamond is $55 million and the Twins’ is $42 million.
When Diamond declared bankruptcy in March, the company said it was working to negotiate a restructuring agreement with debt holders that will eliminate most of its debt.
Under an agreement with creditors, it would become a separate company from parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group.