Amazon and Diamond Sports Discuss Potential Streaming Deal – MLB Trade Rumors

One of MLB’s bigger off-field stories last year was the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Group. The conglomerate’s difficulties in honoring its broadcast contracts have left teams contracted with Diamond – the operator of the regional Bally Sports networks – uncertain about what revenue they can expect from their local television contracts. This was reflected in some clubs (e.g. Padres, Rangers, Twins) cutting or stopping spending.

As Diamond’s bankruptcy proceedings continue, The Wall Street Journal’s Lauren Thomas and Joe Flint report that the company is negotiating a possible multi-year streaming deal with Amazon. The talks, which are ongoing and would need to be approved by the bankruptcy court even if Diamond and Amazon reach an agreement, would result in Amazon investing in Diamond with the goal of eventually acquiring streaming rights for teams to those shows. Diamond would continue to operate its cable networks.

There is a general expectation that Diamond’s restructuring will result in the company exiting all broadcast contracts with MLB after the 2024 season. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich wrote last week that Diamond and MLB were close to agreeing on a deal that would at least provide clarity on which of their 11 contracts* they would honor for the 2024 season. The Athletic reported last month that the company was considering terminating its contracts with the Rangers and Guardians before next season.

Even if Diamond fulfills most or all of his commitments for next season, these clubs will have no clarity about how things will pan out in 2025 and beyond. While the potential for Amazon to support the company in exchange for streaming opportunities is encouraging, it is still very early in the process.

*The Angels, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Guardians, Marlins, Rangers, Rays, Reds, Royals and Tigers have existing contracts with Diamond. The company exited contracts with the Padres and Diamondbacks during the 2023 season, while its contract with the Twins expired at the end of the year.