San Diego Padres’ Daniel Camarena hits a grand slam during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park in San Diego, July 8, 2021.
Denis Poroy | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
The San Diego Padres have a new home base on TV.
Major League Baseball will broadcast and produce the team’s local games starting Wednesday after owner Bally Sports San Diego, its regional sports network for local market games, left the team.
Diamond Sports, which filed for bankruptcy announced in March that its Bally Sports San Diego would air its final Padres game on Tuesday after deciding not to make further payments for the team’s rights. The move comes as Diamond pursues live streaming rights for all MLB teams that air on its regional sports networks.
“MLB has forced us through its continued refusal to negotiate direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming rights for all teams in our portfolio despite our proposal to pay each team in full in exchange for those rights,” a Diamond spokesperson said. declaration. The company noted that it has significant liquidity and is still able to make rights payments and broadcast additional MLB teams in its portfolio.
MLB announced it will take over starting with the Padres’ game against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday. In-market Padres fans will be able to watch games on cable TV or through the league’s streaming app MLB.TV for $19.99 a month or $74.99 for the rest of the season.
“As Commissioner Manfred previously stated, Major League Baseball is ready to produce and distribute Padres games to fans throughout Padres territory,” Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer, said in a release. “While we are disappointed that Diamond Sports Group was unable to honor its contractual agreement with the club, we are taking this opportunity to re-engineer the distribution model, eliminate blackouts for local games, improve television coverage and expand the reach of Padres games. by more than 2 million households”.
The MLB takeover means that local Padres games will no longer be subject to a blackout on MLB.TV, as is the case with other local teams. MLB added that the games will be free through June 4 with an MLB login at MLB.com, Padres.com or the MLB apps.
On cable TV, Padres games will be available through four providers: Charter CommunicationsSpectrum, Cox Communications, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse. MLB said it will increase the reach of local Padres games from about 1.13 million households to about 3.3 million households.
Bally Sports San Diego is supported by joint ownership between Diamond and the team. Padres signed A 20-year, $1.2 billion contract with Fox Sports in 2012.
When Disney acquired assets from Fox, had to offload the Fox Sports network. Disney sold network, later renamed Bally Sports, on Sinclair Broadcast Group in 2019 for $10.6 billion, which included roughly $8 billion in debt.
The debt burden has crippled the networks ever since. Diamond is now an unconsolidated and independently managed subsidiary of Sinclair.
Streaming rights for MLB teams have been a particular issue between Diamond and the league for some time. While Diamond acquired streaming rights for all NBA and NHL teams, which it carries on its regional sports networks, it worked on a team-by-team basis in MLB.
In earlier months, Diamond skipped payments for other MLB teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, in an effort to acquire streaming rights. Diamond owns 19 regional sports networks under the Bally Sports brand.
The diamond was compulsory earlier in bankruptcy to make partial payments to teams that have stopped paying.