Major League Baseball will take over broadcasting San Diego Padres games for the foreseeable future after Diamond Sports Group missed its payment to the Padres. The missed payment is another hit to Diamond Sports Group’s offerings as it battles bankruptcy and other issues.
Diamond Sports Group has an ownership stake in Bally Sports San Diego, the regional sports network that broadcasts San Diego Padres baseball games. In 2012, Diamond Sports Group entered into a 20-year deal with the San Diego Padres to broadcast the team’s games in exchange for $1.2 billion. Importantly, the Padres kept an ownership stake in Bally Sports San Diego.
In March, Diamond Sports Group filed for bankruptcy, which has led to the group failing to make broadcast rights payments to multiple teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks. In May, the Phoenix Suns attempted to contract their broadcast rights to another company after alleging that the team’s deal with Diamond Sports Group had expired. A judge blocked the deal, noting that even though the group filed for bankruptcy, the group had a contractual right to negotiate an extension with the Suns.
Notably, Diamond Sports Group did not include the Padres’ broadcasting rights in the bankruptcy filing because the team had an ownership stake in the network. Thus, Diamond Sports Group’s failure to pay the team reverts the rights to the Padres. Now, Major League Baseball will step in and broadcast the games via streaming through multiple outlets.
Dominoes are continuing to fall for Diamond Sports Group. Considering the group does not have bankruptcy protections to lean on for the Padres’ rights, this is a big loss for the group.