Diamond Sports, the parent company of Bally Sports, has elected to skip a $140 million interest payment. This triggers a 30-day grace period, which is expected to lead to the company filing bankruptcy.
Bally Sports is the regional sports network that provides local coverage for 16 NBA teams. If Bally Sports is unable to meet their contractual obligations to the teams and the NBA, it could cause major problems for the teams and the league as a whole. Beyond obvious local coverage issues, media rights are part of the Basketball Related Income (BRI) calculation, which drives how the NBA derives its salary cap figures.
Teams who are currently broadcast by Bally Sports are the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs.
Diamond Sports released the following statement: “The company intends to use the 30-day grace period to continue progressing its ongoing discussions with creditors and other key stakeholders regarding potential strategic alternatives and deleveraging transactions to best position Diamond Sports Group for the future. Diamond Sports Group expects that its business will continue as usual, and it will keep broadcasting quality live sports productions for fans while it addresses its balance sheet.”