The Arizona Diamondbacks will remain on Bally Sports Arizona through at least mid-July.
On Wednesday night, the Diamondbacks and the Diamond Sports Group released a joint statement saying that the two parties had postponed a Thursday hearing about the team’s future on Bally Sports Arizona.
“Diamond Sports Group and the Arizona Diamondbacks have decided to postpone tomorrow’s hearing due to ongoing and positive discussions toward finding a solution,” the statement read. “During this time, Bally Sports Arizona will continue to broadcast D-backs games and fans will have the same televised access they have been able to enjoy from the beginning of the season.”
Diamond Sports owes the Diamondbacks a rights payment on July 1st, along with the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins, and reports earlier this month indicated that the team could have been axed by Diamond like the San Diego Padres were in May.
Earlier this year, Diamond Sports missed a payment to the Diamondbacks before the company’s bankruptcy filing. The team has been one of several in the crosshairs of Diamond Sports throughout this season, along with the Guardians, Rangers, Reds, Twins, and already-dropped Padres. Diamond has been seeking the streaming rights to those teams to make their live games available on Bally Sports+, but the teams and MLB haven’t budged.
With the Diamondbacks and Diamond postponing this hearing due to “positive discussions,” it’s certainly possible that the team could bite the bullet and sell their streaming rights to Diamond.
If Diamond is unable to strike a deal with the Diamondbacks and parts ways with the team, the future of Bally Sports Arizona would become further clouded. The Phoenix Suns announced their intention to leave Bally Sports Arizona in April, signing deals with Gray Television and Kiswe, but Diamond sued the team and the deals were voided in May after bankruptcy judge Christopher Lopez ruled that the Suns violated the automatic stay put in place when Diamond filed for bankruptcy. If the Suns do end up leaving Bally Sports Arizona, and a deal can’t be agreed to with the Diamondbacks and they’re cut loose, the network’s lone Big Four team would be the Arizona Coyotes, which draw some of the lowest ratings locally in the NHL.
As we’ve done quite often this year when it comes to Diamond Sports, we’re kicking the can further down the road without a resolution.