SEATTLE — Major League Baseball says teams have collected 94% of the money they have been owed by Diamond Sports.
The company controls 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner and has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Texas since March. MLB took over rights to San Diego Padres telecasts on May 31 after a rights payment was missed.
“Of the rights fees that have come due, I think we’ve collected 94% of those rights fees so far. And that’s really important,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “We have backstopped clubs to make sure that there isn’t some unforeseen alteration in their revenue, and all that’s designed to put clubs in a position to not have disruption when it comes to the most important side of their business, that is putting a good team on the field.”
MLB’s sales of Padres broadcasts in San Diego are “well into the five figures,” according to Manfred.
“Well before the Diamond bankruptcy, we were kind of on the topic of that part of the media landscape changing,” he said. “Our goal from the beginning has been to make a transition from the current situation into a new model that did two things, number one, increase the availability of our games to fans, and number two, to minimize any financial disruption for clubs.”
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