San Diego Padres

What Bally Sports Bankruptcy Means for Watching San Diego Padres Games

The impending bankruptcy has left fans concerned over whether game broadcasts will be interrupted

NBC Universal, Inc.

Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. 

The company is the parent of Bally Sports Regional Networks, which broadcasts local games across the United States. It holds the rights to 42 teams: 14 from MLB, 16 from the NBA and 12  from the NHL.

That includes the San Diego Padres

The impending bankruptcy has left fans in impacted markets with concerns over whether game broadcasts will be interrupted, particularly baseball fans with MLB's Opening Day just 10 days away on March 30. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch games scheduled to be broadcasted by Bally Sports.

How to watch San Diego Padres on Bally Sports

As of right now, tune in like normal. All games are currently expected to air as scheduled.  

David Preschlack, the CEO of Diamond and a former NBC Sports executive, reassured fans in a statement on Tuesday that live broadcasts will continue while the company restructures and unloads its debt. 

"DSG will continue broadcasting games and connecting fans across the country with the sports and teams they love,” Preschlack said in the statement. “With the support of our creditors, we expect to execute a prompt and efficient reorganization and to emerge from the restructuring process as a stronger company.”

Diamond Sports Group's 19 owned-and-operated RSNs include:

- Bally Sports Arizona (Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix Suns)

- Bally Sports Detroit (Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons)

- Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun (Florida Panthers, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays)

- Bally Sports Great Lakes/Bally Sports Ohio (Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Guardians, Columbus Blue Jackets)

- Bally Sports Indiana (Indiana Pacers)

- Bally Sports Kansas City (Kansas City Royals)

- Bally Sports Midwest (St. Louis Blues, St. Louis Cardinals)

- Bally Sports New Orleans (New Orleans Pelicans)

- Bally Sports North (Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild)

- Bally Sports Oklahoma (Oklahoma City Thunder)

- Bally Sports San Diego (San Diego Padres)

- Bally Sports SoCal (Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings )

- Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast (Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Nashville Predators)

- Bally Sports Southwest (Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, San Antonio Spurs, Texas Rangers)

- Bally Sports West (Los Angeles Angels)

- Bally Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers)

Diamond is a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, which acquired the portfolio of RSNs from Disney for $10.6 billion in 2019, which included roughly $8 billion in debt, according to CNBC.

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What happens if Bally Sports stops broadcasting games? 

If that happens, Major League Baseball reportedly is ready to come in for the save. 

Prior to Diamond releasing a statement, the New York Post reported that the company was expected to reject the contracts of teams it is losing money on, which includes the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians. If so, per the Post, MLB intends to take over local broadcasts for the impacted teams and stream the games for free in the local markets while negotiations continue.

Perhaps the NBA and NHL would do the same, although the 2022-2023 regular season for each league is nearly over.  

The NBA renewed its streaming deal with Diamond Sports in June even with the company's looming bankruptcy, according to Sports Business Journal. Under the agreement, Bally Sports+, a direct-to-consumer streaming service launched by the company in September for fans who do not have cable packages, would continue to stream games for the 16 NBA teams carried on the networks.

Base packages for Bally Sports+ begin at around $20 per month.

The NBA's deal with Diamond Sports includes one-year deals that run through the 2024-25 season, per SBJ, which adds that the company must meet 13 conditions annually to trigger the deal for the following 12 months.  Filing for bankruptcy would be in breach of one of those conditions.

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