MLB Is Making Huge Changes To How Games Are Televised Locally

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Getty Image / G Fiume

MLB fans love to complain about the system and rules around televising games in both local and national markets. Whether it’s the fact games are usually only available in local markets with a television contract, blackouts, paying exorbitant prices for out-of-market games, or fans in certain locations not able to watch any teams, there’s a lot to complain about.

One of the biggest sources of disapproval is Bally Sports Network, owned by parent company Diamond Sports. Bally Sports, which is somewhat of a descendant of the Fox Sports regional networks, own the local television rights to many different sports teams, including a bunch of MLB teams.

But, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, a lot of people aren’t buying cable subscriptions anymore. In turn, this lowers advertising dollars, which makes the business model of Bally Sports untenable. Rumors of their demise has been going on for awhile, and now it sounds like they will be heading for bankruptcy, possibly as soon as March 17, according to the New York Post.

This would create a big problem for MLB. If these networks go out of business, someone would have to step in to produce and distribute those games.

According to the New York Post, MLB has devised a plan. Here are some details.

Major League Baseball plans to step up to the plate to broadcast games of roughly a half-dozen teams from a bankruptcy-bound regional sports network provider so that fans don’t miss a single pitch, The Post has learned.

Diamond Sports owns the home broadcast rights to 14 baseball teams, but sources close to the situation told The Post the money-hemorrhaging company is expected to file for bankruptcy March 17 – days before the season opens on March 30.

Diamond, which operates under the Bally’s name, is expected to use the bankruptcy proceedings to reject the contracts of at least four teams to which it pays more in rights fees than it collects back through cable contracts and ads, two sources close to the situation said.

The teams in the red include the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, according to one of the sources. Presently, Diamond stands to lose $20 million annually on San Diego alone, the source added.

This seems like a welcome development for many fans. After all, who doesn’t like free baseball? The Major League Baseball season opens up March 30.

Garrett Carr BroBible avatar
Garrett Carr is a recent graduate of Penn State University and a BroBible writer who focuses on NFL, College Football, MLB, and he currently resides in Pennsylvania.