MINNEAPOLIS — A federal bankruptcy judge has ordered Diamond Sports to pay the full value of its media contracts to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers.
Judge Christopher Lopez made the ruling on Thursday in Houston. Diamond Sports, which owns 19 networks under the Bally Sports banner, has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of Texas since it filed in March. Diamond said in a financial filing last fall it had debt of $8.67 billion.
In April, the judge ruled Diamond to pay half of what the teams were owed in rights fees.
”I think the contract rate is the right answer here,” said Lopez in using his decision after two marathon days of testimony.
The decision is another chapter in what has been a contentious week in the strained relationship between MLB and Diamond Sports.
On Tuesday, the last San Diego Padres game was aired on Bally Sports San Diego after Diamond Sports missed a rights payment fee and let the grace period expire.
MLB took over production of Padres’ telecasts, beginning with Wednesday’s game at the Miami Marlins.