Bally Sports networks go dark on Comcast

Diamond Sports Group has been unable to reach a deal with Comcast, so the Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks it manages will come off the Xfinity cable and entertainment platform.

The blackout began just after midnight in the early hours of May 1, 2024.

Diamond, which is currently owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group and Allen Media Group, is in the process of digging out from bankruptcy after it missed key payments to teams in its markets in 2023. It was rescued, in part, by Amazon, who has agreed to inject cash into the company in exchange for a stake in it.

The blackout affects several major markets, including Atlanta, the Twin Cities and Detroit. 

Comcast says it plans to automatically credit most affected subscribers between $8 and $10 per month for as long as the blackout ends, depending on market and package.

Diamond claims that Comcast did not agree to an extension of its current terms in order to keep the channels available to Xfinity customers, a sign that that cable company, who has been bleeding subscribers, may be prepared to play hardball to get a better deal to keep costs down.

Comcast and Diamond are currently operating under an extension deal that started in the fall of 2023.

Meanwhile, Diamond has been able to sign key carriage deals with Charter, now the nation’s largest cable carrier, DirecTV and Cox Communications, in recent weeks.