Home » Judge approves plan for Texas Rangers to remain with Bally Sports Southwest for 2024

Judge approves plan for Texas Rangers to remain with Bally Sports Southwest for 2024

It appears the latest chapter in the saga regarding Texas Rangers broadcasts has reached its close.

Short version: Everything will remain status quo.

A Houston-based US Bankruptcy Court judge on Friday gave oral approval to plans for the parent company of Bally Sports Southwest to continue to hold the rights for 2024. Some unsecured creditors of bankrupt Diamond Sports are being given the weekend to further review documents, but a hearing is set for Monday where the final motion is expected to be signed.

Judge Chris Lopez said he “happily approves” of deals to keep the Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians with Diamond for 2024. “It’s a huge step forward.”

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The deals call for modified broadcasting rights agreements. In other words: Less money than was originally in the Rangers’ linear rights deal. The Rangers had been scheduled to receive an average of $111 million annually.

“They are highly confidential, they contain sensitive commercial terms, obviously the teams would not like these in the public forum,” a lawyer for Diamond argued, according to a report from The Athletic’s Evan Drellich.

Neither the Rangers nor Diamond Sports offered any comment on Friday.

Under the deal, the Rangers would remain on Bally through 2024, but would have the ability to negotiate with other outlets for 2025. It does, however, leave open the possibility that, if no agreement can be reached with another provider, the Rangers and Diamond could return to talk for 2025. Diamond originally had the rights through 2034 after it acquired the string of regional sports networks from Fox.

For the time being, that means the status quo for Rangers fans. The club remains on BSSW. BSSW is not included in all cable/satellite systems. The only streaming option for fans in the D-FW market is the Bally app, only on platforms that provide Bally in the first place.

The best hope for a broader streaming solution is in 2025. At the conclusion of the owners meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Thursday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was targeting 2025 to have a streaming package available to fans. How exactly that will happen is still somewhat uncertain.

Also this week, Warner Bros. Discovery, ESPN and FOX announced a joint venture streaming package. That could provide an option for a package of teams.

“I think it is another place that’s going to need to buy rights in order to make the platform go, and compelling, and I think it’s good to have another buyer,” Manfred told reporters Thursday. “I think it’s particularly good for us. You think about it, it’s our three biggest partners, right? All positive.”

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