2024 Major League Baseball

Please allow me to offer some more context here as not included by the author Eric Fisher.

Comcast has a vested competitive interest in making things difficult for Diamond Sports Group, for Comcast owns the regional NBC Sports Networks such as here in Philadelphia.

I figure Comcast would love to pick up wherever DSG fails and pitch coverage on a local NBC channel or that stupid Peacock app or via a new regional sports network.

MLB should be leaning on Comcast here and not on DSG, for with the latter, MLB is simply trying to extract blood from a stone.

Alternatively, with DSG out of the way, MLB also has a vested interest to re-shop the associated local rights to the games in the several affected markets with DSG’s Bally Sports regional sports networks.

It looks again like a case in which it is all too easy for those with money and means to gang up on those without means, which in court is justifiable for the sake of this bankruptcy case, but otherwise picking on DSG for sake of failed access to the games in local markets is counterproductive to a solution by those with the stronger means.

It’s also of note that MLB has had more than a year to figure this out already after the first troubles of such cord cutting began to show all the more after the 2022 season, so if they believe DSG is slow at the wheel, MLB has to look in the mirror.

By contrast in my opinion, the NBA and NHL have been more slightly more proactive in light of the business fact of cord cutting and massive failure of regional sports networks after initial delays in early 2023.

With a little more than a month to go before Diamond Sports Group attempts to get legal confirmation of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, the company’s distribution dispute with Comcast is now taking a much more public and angry turn.

Less than a week after the end of a prior DSG-Comcast carriage agreement and resulting blackout of those channels to consumers, the Bally Sports parent went on the offensive by issuing a lengthy statement and open letter to fans, all aimed at pointing blame at the No. 2 U.S. cable carrier.

“[Comcast’s] Xfinity hasn’t been willing to engage in meaningful discussions, nor will they put the channels back on while we continue to work through this,” DSG’s letter read in part.

If there was any question about the animosity MLB has for Diamond Sports Group, that has now been emphatically made clear.

As the bankrupt Bally Sports parent continues its efforts to reorganize, the league bashed the company in a new filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, saying an ongoing carriage battle between DSG and Comcast heightens the chances of a future liquidation.

“It is highly likely that the loss of carriage of the debtors’ broadcasts by Comcast, and the resulting loss of licensing fees from Comcast, will render the [reorganization] plan unconformable, thereby wasting time and estate resources to the detriment of MLB, the signatory clubs, and other interested parties,” MLB said.

The league went on to say that “the debtors should not be permitted to stumble through the restructuring process,” and that “the debtors once again face a very high risk that they will not emerge from these Chapter 11 cases as a going concern.” DSG generates the vast majority of its revenue from distributors such as Comcast.

The Comcast-DSG dispute, which has already grown more tense, remains at a stalemate with no recent movement in talks. MLB called the ongoing blackout of several of its teams carried on Bally Sports regional sports networks “profoundly harmful.”