Pacers broadcasts to remain on Bally Sports this season
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Pacers TV broadcasts will remain on Bally Sports this season despite the company’s bankruptcy struggles.
The NBA announced a deal Monday with Diamond Sports Group, Bally Sports’ parent company and the country’s largest regional sports network, that will keep the Pacers and 14 other teams on Bally through the end of this season.
The agreement, which was contained in a court filing made Monday, is subject to court approval. Diamond Sports has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of Texas since it filed for protection in March. The company said in a financial filing last year that it had debt of $8.67 billion.
Pacers games are unavailable to DISH Network customers in central Indiana due to a carriage dispute between DISH and Diamond Sports.
In the filing, Diamond blamed “cord cutting” for much of its financial woes.
“This unprecedented subscriber loss and concomitant decrease in distribution revenue caused many of the Debtors’ existing rights deals with their sports league and team partners to become uneconomical and the Debtors’ business to become unsustainable in the form it existed as of the Petition Date,” Diamond’s attorneys wrote
Some of the teams will see a reduction in rights payments for the season.
What happens next season will remain up in the air.
The local broadcast rights to the Pacers and the other 14 NBA teams will return to the teams when this season ends.
The agreement provides some stability for fans, networks and NBA teams after Major League Baseball had to take over the broadcasts of San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games last season after agreements could not be reached.
The other NBA teams that are currently on Bally are: Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, LA Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando and San Antonio.
Diamond, which also has the rights for 11 National Hockey League teams, is also in discussions with the NHL for the same type of agreement.
Diamond Sports Group said in a statement: “Our newly-signed agreements with the NBA, Comcast and our creditors reflect significant progress on Diamond’s path forward. Diamond has been broadcasting NBA and NHL games and will continue to do so while the Court considers our motions, and while discussions with the NHL finalize with respect to their own new deal.”
Associated Press sports writer Joe Reedy contributed to this article.