NHL unsure where games will air due to sports broadcasting disruption.

NHL unsure where games will air due to sports broadcasting disruption.

Diamond Bankruptcy: A Race Against Time in the Sports Broadcasting Industry


Diamond, the parent company of the Bally Sports brand of television channels, finds itself in a precarious position. Facing bankruptcy and a changing sports broadcasting industry, the company is eager to reach a resolution that will allow it to continue broadcasting upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) games. However, time is running out, and the clock is ticking. Diamond’s management team and board are acutely aware of the urgency at hand.

During a recent court hearing, Diamond lawyer Brian Hermann emphasized the need for swift action. He stressed the company’s determination to demonstrate its readiness to overcome the challenges posed by bankruptcy and solidify its future with the sports leagues. To this end, Diamond brokered a deal with senior lenders and creditors prior to the hearing, securing an extension of the exclusive right to submit a bankruptcy exit plan until September 30.

The NHL, one of Diamond’s key partners, acknowledges the situation’s gravity. Shana Elberg, a lawyer representing the league, highlighted the importance of reaching a clear agreement with Diamond before the start of the 2023-2024 season. With the NHL’s pre-season beginning on September 23 and the regular season commencing on October 10, time is indeed of the essence.

The NBA, another significant partner for Diamond, did not make a statement during the court hearing, leaving their position unclear. However, this silence hasn’t gone unnoticed. Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and YouTube have already expressed their interest in streaming NBA games, potentially seizing the local broadcasting rights that Diamond currently holds. The uncertainty surrounding Diamond’s future further underscores the rapidly changing landscape of the sports broadcasting industry.

While the specifics of what lies ahead for Diamond remain uncertain, the company is preparing for various possible outcomes. One option being considered is a separation from its parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., allowing Diamond to operate independently after emerging from bankruptcy. However, this would likely result in Sinclair’s equity in Diamond being wiped out—a common occurrence in Chapter 11 bankruptcies.

Diehard baseball fans can find some solace amidst Diamond’s struggles, as the company has indicated no intention to drop existing telecast deals with other baseball teams. However, it did end telecast agreements to broadcast games for Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks during the regular season. The company’s focus, for now, lies on resolving its financial woes and securing its future in the sports broadcasting industry.

A lawsuit filed by Diamond against Sinclair, alleging wrongful diversion of assets, adds another layer of complexity to the situation. Sinclair, for its part, has vehemently denied the claims, maintaining that the lawsuit holds no merit.

As Diamond’s bankruptcy case unfolds in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, advisers are diligently working on potential structural solutions to extricate Diamond from its current predicament. The goal is to enable the Bally Sports owner to operate independently post-bankruptcy.

The race against time continues for Diamond as it strives to find a viable path through bankruptcy and secure its position as a prominent sports broadcaster. With the clock ticking and competition lining up, the coming weeks will prove critical in shaping Diamond’s future. Although uncertainty looms, one thing is certain: the enthusiasm of sports fans worldwide remains undiminished, eagerly awaiting the day when the games can continue to captivate their hearts and minds.

Key Points:

  • Diamond, the parent company of the Bally Sports brand, faces bankruptcy and the challenges of a rapidly changing sports broadcasting industry.
  • Swift action is crucial to secure future broadcasting of NBA and NHL games.
  • Diamond’s exclusive right to submit a bankruptcy exit plan has been extended until September 30.
  • The NHL is actively engaged in discussions with Diamond, emphasizing the urgency to reach an agreement before the start of the 2023-2024 season.
  • The NBA’s position remains uncertain, attracting interest from major streaming platforms.
  • Diamond explores the possibility of operating independently by separating from parent company Sinclair, potentially leaving Sinclair equity wiped out.
  • Diamond aims to maintain broadcast deals with other baseball teams while facing financial struggles.
  • A lawsuit against Sinclair further complicates Diamond’s bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Advisers are working on potential structures to enable Diamond to operate independently upon emerging from bankruptcy.
  • The coming weeks will be critical for Diamond as it navigates the challenges of bankruptcy and strives to secure its place in the sports broadcasting industry.