Diamond files to have bankruptcy deadline moved to November

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Diamond Sports Group has attempted to delay finalizing its bankruptcy — and two of its league partners say they’re wary of what that means.

The NBA and NHL both filed paperwork with the bankruptcy court expressing their concerns over Diamond’s move. Both leagues have teams with regional sports broadcast agreements with Diamond. 

The company was slated to be in a Texas courtroom April 17, 2024, but filed a motion to push proceedings to Nov. 14, 2024.

It’s not clear why Diamond requested the extension and that date represents the longest extension by law.

Diamond later announced that filing for the extension was largely procedural and that hopes to finalized its restructuring by June 2024.

Diamond Sports is current a joint venture of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Allen Media Group, but is expected to get new owners after the bankruptcy wraps up.

The company operates multiple regional sports networks branded under the Bally Sports name, which it licensed from the entertainment company by the same name. Filings have indicated, however, that the channels will be rebranded after the restructuring.

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Numerous pro sports teams have been affected by the bankruptcy when Diamond miss paying teams for the broadcast rights. Some of them have since transferred the rights other broadcasters, while others are waiting for promised payments or have been paid under modified terms.

The NBA and NHL’s move casts further doubt over Diamond’s ability to operate, especially given that it relies heavily on its team partners for content; after all, it’s hard to run a sports network without any sports rights.

Diamond did recently sign key carriage agreements with Charter and DirecTV, which could be a positive sign the company might be headed in the right direction. 

Diamond’s partner teams could try to get out of their deals with Diamond; the recent filings could be seen as laying the groundwork for making a legal case for that. On the other hand, the paperwork could also just following legal procedure in case things go awry. 

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