From now on, the Major League Baseball clubs have to do without the financing of a media partner threatened with bankruptcy. A permanent state could threaten – with far-reaching consequences.
This development is really upsetting America’s traditional sport.
An impending bankruptcy filing by the US TV partner Diamond Sports Group has far-reaching consequences for the American professional baseball league MLB and its traditional teams such as the New York Yankees or the current World Series winner Houston Astros. (NEWS: All current information about the MLB)
Bankruptcy of US TV partner: MLB franchises directly affected
Commissioner Bob Manfred recently commented on this ESPN and presented himself as a crisis manager: “I’m an emergency planner by nature. We are prepared for this and can ensure that the games are available to fans in their local markets.”
In Germany, the MLB with SPORTS1 since 2021 a long-term partnership until 2026which makes the case on the US core market special and tricky: In contrast to many other professional leagues, it is not the MLB that takes care of the national marketing and transmission of the games, but each club itself. And: The Diamond Sports Group’s rights revenue was included most recently the number one source of finance for 14 MLB teams.
Manfred added that a contingency plan for a hassle-free transmission without the bankrupt company is already in place: “We think it will be both linear in the traditional cable bundle and digital on our own platforms, but that remains to be seen.”
Media change in the USA recently more massive than expected
For a purchase price of six billion US dollars, the corporate giant Sinclair incorporated the Diamond Sports Group in 2019, but borrowed more than eight billion dollars in the process.
The expected sales and earnings did not materialize because Sinclair was surprised by the extent of media change in the USA in recent years: millions of households there are currently reporting from traditional cable television every year, and the emphasis is shifting more and more towards streaming – with the current result the above all floating insolvency of the media house.
In view of the TV bankruptcy, is the MLB now taking its chance and taking care of its own baseball broadcasts? “Not in the short term,” says Manfred, in any case, and reacted accordingly cautiously to the increasingly loud calls for self-marketing in the course of several blackouts by external MLB rights holders.
The crux of the matter: An in-house production would possibly result in serious financial losses for the league.