San Diego Padres fans can exhale. On Wednesday, the Diamond Sports Group made a rights payment to the team prior to the end of a grace period, ensuring the team’s media rights would not revert to MLB.
The Padres were one of four MLB teams rumored to be on the chopping block by Diamond, and not making the rights payment by the end of the day Wednesday would have forced MLB’s hand into reclaiming the team’s rights. This would have resulted in MLB producing Padres games this season and making them available to fans.
Diamond Sports sought the streaming rights for the Padres so they could make the team’s games available on Bally Sports+, but the Sports Business Journal reports that the Padres did not cede those rights to Diamond in order to receive their rights payment.
Earlier this month, Diamond missed a payment to the Arizona Diamondbacks, another one of the four teams that could be cut. However, because that missed payment came before the company’s bankruptcy declaration, it still holds the team’s media rights and will continue distributing games this season on Bally Sports Arizona.
Attention now turns to the state of Ohio, where both the Guardians and Reds may have their next payments skipped by Diamond.