Human Interest

MLB Speaks Out on Bally Sports and Comcast/Xfinity Deal

On May 1, Bally Sports went dark on Xfinity/Comcast, leaving customers across the country without a way to watch their favorite teams. Now, MLB is speaking out about the Bally Sports and Comcast/Xfinity deal and what it's doing to their operations. This was right as the MLB season was kicking off, too, so it came at terrible time for MLB fans. MLB Comments on Bally Sports and Comcast/Xfinity Deal Those who have Bally Sports as part of their Comcast/Xfinity package still have a message on their TVs that says, "Bally Sports is no longer available," when they switch to the Bally channel. Diamond Sports, which operates the Bally stations, and Comcast are still duking it out over money. Currently, Diamond and Bally carry a dozen MLB teams on their channels, which is more than one-third of the league. The official Comcast/Xfinity statement that was released on May 1 said, "The owner of Bally Sports is in bankruptcy proceedings, and we have offered them multiple options to continue carrying their networks. They have declined each one, and we no longer have the rights to continue carrying their content." As their season continues, MLB is commenting about how the Bally Sports and Comcast/Xfinity situation is hurting them. "This abrupt loss of carriage is profoundly harmful to MLB," the league and various teams stated in a court filing this week (via Bloomburg). MLB's filing added regarding the Bally Sports and Comcast/Xfinity situation, stating, "Without incoming revenue from Comcast, substantially increased risk of shutting down altogether." Comcast currently has 13.6 million video subscribers in the first quarter this year. Meanwhile, Bally Sports has stated they are working to find a new naming partner that is willing to sponsor the channels. Diamond Sports broadcasts roughly half of all MLB, NHL and NBA games, so for Comcast/Xfinity customers to lose those games is huge. Diamond is currently in bankruptcy restructuring, and that restructuring depends on renewing their deals with three major cable partners, including Comcast/Xfinity. "It's disappointing that Comcast rejected a proposed extension that would have kept our channels on the air and that Comcast indicated that it intends to pull the signals, preventing fans from watching their favorite local teams," Diamond said in a previous statement. I'm one of the customers who lost Bally, and I'm pretty upset about it. I try to catch as many Detroit Pistons games as possible during the season, and if this deal isn't made good by this fall, I won't have a way to watch Pistons games. Here's hoping they strike a deal soon. Contact me with your thoughts. [select-listicle listicle_id="719336" syndication_name="7-super-early-super-bowl-contenders-for-next-season" description="no"]

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