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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

MLB, NBA and NHL may buy biggest owner of regional sports TV networks: sources

MLB, the NBA and the NHL may orchestrate a buyout of the nation’s dominant owner of regional sports TV networks, whose shaky finances pose an increasing threat to their teams, The Post has learned.

The trio of pro-sports leagues are expected to soon begin talks with Diamond Sports, which operates 21 regional Bally Sports networks that account for more than half the local broadcast markets around the country, sources close to the situation said.

A prospective deal is looming as Diamond — owned by Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group — has been hemorrhaging cash and could be headed for a possible bankruptcy filing if it doesn’t find a white knight in the coming months, the sources claimed.

Sinclair in early 2019 won an auction to buy Fox Sports Networks from 21st Century Fox for $10.6 billion, giving it exclusive rights to broadcast the games of 42 teams. These included 14 MLB teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres; 16 NBA teams including the Miami Heat; and 12 NHL teams including the Detroit Red Wings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 20, 2022 at 08:43 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: regional sports networks, sinclair

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Sinclair reportedly hires investment banks in potential lead-up to sale of Bally Sports RSNs

Ourand detailed why the banks were hired, noting they were “working to improve the sports group’s capital structure.”

The bankers have not reached out to potential bidders yet. Instead, they are working to improve the sports group’s capital structure to make it more attractive to potential suitors or investors, sources said. It’s unlikely that the bankers will find buyers or investors — at least not right away — because Diamond Sports Group is operating with upwards of $8 billion in debt.

The problem: creditors will not want to restructure until they have an idea who likely buyers are. But buyers will be scared away until the bankers can make the company’s balance sheet look more attractive. The bankers have to try and serve both masters at the same time.

One option that apparently is on the table: the bankers could try to persuade creditors to forgive debt, convert it to equity and try to bring in a partner — either one of the leagues or a deep-pocketed tech or media company like Apple, Amazon, Fanatics or DraftKings.

Sinclair bought the RSNs from Disney in 2019 for nearly $10 billion. Since then, the RSNs have been plagued by carriage disputes and the pandemic. In late 2020, Sinclair took a writedown of $4.2 billion on the RSNs.

Ourand’s piece also discusses a potential bankruptcy for the Diamond Sports Group, Sinclair’s subsidiary that operates the RSNs. Spoiler: it wouldn’t be good news for any teams whose games air on a Bally Sports RSN!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 30, 2022 at 04:39 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: rsns, sinclair

 

 

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