Is Amazon Saving How North Dakota Watching Twins Games?
North Dakota sports fans may see a change in the way they watch the Twins, Wild, and Timberwolves this upcoming year thanks to Amazon bailing out Diamond Sports.
Diamond controls eighteen networks that are branded as Bally Sports. These networks own 37 professional teams—11 in baseball, 15 in the NBA, and 11 in the NHL.
Since filing for protection in March of last year, Diamond Sports has been involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of Texas. In a financial report from late 2021, the corporation said that it owed $8.67 billion.
Diamond Sports made the agreement's terms public on Wednesday morning. Amazon remained silent. The bankruptcy court still has to approve it.
The deal reached with Diamond Sports' major creditors permits the company to come out of bankruptcy, carry on with business as usual, and avert a complete collapse of the regional sports network system, which would have forced the NBA, NHL, and MLB to assume production and distribution responsibilities for the majority of their clubs.
Following Diamond's failure to reach an improved agreement with the Diamondbacks and his failure to make rights payments to the Padres, MLB was forced to assume production and distribution of the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2018 season.
As per the stipulations of the reorganization deal, Diamond will get a minority investment from Amazon, and the two parties will collaborate to offer Diamond's content on Prime Video.
Customers who own rights to Prime Video channels will be able to view content from their local team. A later time will be notified for pricing and availability. There will still be regional sports programming available on cable and satellite services.
Some YES Network-produced New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games are already available on Amazon Prime.
Additionally, Diamond and Sinclair Broadcast Group have an agreement in principle to resolve outstanding legal disputes between the two businesses.
In 2019, Sinclair paid over $10 billion to The Walt Disney Co. to acquire the regional sports networks. For Disney's acquisition of the film and television assets of 21st Century Fox to be approved, the Department of Justice needed Disney to sell the networks.
Prior to Sinclair's acquisition of the regional networks, the company was experiencing financial difficulties as a result of cord cutting and a drop in advertising revenue following the signing of expensive long-term contracts with certain teams.
Diamond Sports Group split away from Sinclair last year as per a deal with creditors.
Sinclair will give Diamond $495 million as part of the settlement, and Sinclair will also continue to support Diamond's restructuring with services. A portion of the creditors will also receive payments from the settlement.
Diamond has secured agreements with the NHL and NBA to retain local rights until the conclusion of the current season. The next court hearing is set for Friday, and it is still in talks with Major League Baseball to restructure agreements for the 2018 season.
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