*Attached video: Bally Sports owner files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
(WJW) — Major League Baseball has released a statement to Fox 8 after Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. The move came after it missed a $140 million interest payment last month.
Diamond owns 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner. Those networks have the rights to 42 professional teams — 14 baseball, 16 NBA and 12 NHL.
“Diamond Sports Group’s bankruptcy declaration is an unfortunate development that we have been expecting. Despite Diamond’s economic situation, there is every expectation that they will continue televising all games they are committed to during the bankruptcy process,” the MLB statement said.”
The statement said the MLB is ready to, “produce and distribute games to fans in their local markets in the event that Diamond or any other regional sports network is unable to do so as required by their agreement with our Clubs.”
According to the statement, the MLB has streamed live games on MLB.TV for more than 20 years and produced live games for MLB Network since 2009.
The MLB said it has also hired additional seasoned local media professionals in anticipation of this situation.
“Over the long term, we will reimagine our distribution model to address the changing media climate and ultimately reach an even larger number of fans,” the statement said.