Sinclair got into the Regional Sports Network (RSN) game too late to make it work and it is blowing up in its face. The company’s Bally Sports/Diamond Sports filed for bankruptcy today signaling what could be the beginning of the end of its dalliance with professional sports.
Sinclair purchased what had the channels, which had previously been under the banner of FOX Sports when they became available after Disney’s merger with 20th Century FOX. The move though, saddled Sinclair, which is a behemoth in the broadcasting world with 8 billion dollars in debt that it has so far been unable to make back. Part of its issue lays with its inability to find TV distribution partners in an age where cable subscribers have become fewer in number than the 100 million subscriber heyday of peak cable.
At the moment Bally Sports has contracts with over 40 professional teams and says that it will meet its obligations. But even now it has paused payments to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is a developing story that we will continue to follow.