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Diamond Sports has reached a deal... with Amazon

The Bally Sports regional sports networks have a financial partner.

Photo Illustration by Idrees Abbas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We have been following the bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Group, which runs the Bally Sports branded regional sports networks. They cover games of 12 MLB teams.

Per Brendan Coffey at Sportico, Diamond has reached an agreement that will keep these games on the air. That’s partly because of an infusion of money from Amazon. The key portion of the linked article is here:

Amazon will make a minority investment in the company as part of the proposal. It will use its Prime Video platform to offer direct-to-consumer access to MLB, NBA and NHL games, including pre-game and post-game content of its various RSNs on a local basis. The size of the investment and other details have yet to be disclosed.

Subscriptions to these channels in local markets would be conducted in a similar fashion to the way that fans in the Cubs market territory can get a streaming subscription to Marquee Sports Network. It’s explained further in this ESPN article:

Customers will be able to access their local team’s content on Prime Video channels where Diamond has rights. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date. Regional sports content will also remain available on cable and satellite providers.

I would imagine that the pricing would be similar to what MLB is now charging for Padres and Diamondbacks games that they clawed back the rights for after the Bally Sports channels in those markets failed last year — around $20 a month. That’s what you’ll pay for a streaming subscription to Marquee.

Amazon already carries some Yankees games — here’s how it worked in 2023. This would seem to be a “foot in the door” for Amazon to stream games for other teams, and possibly even some national games, as they now do for some NFL games.

We are in a transition phase for television in this country, not just for sports but for all entertainment. In the foreseeable future, I’d think most if not all baseball games will wind up on some sort of streaming service.

As always, we await developments.