While the NBA performed a demonstration of augmented reality included in its League Pass, the atmosphere is much more gloomy for the classic broadcast of matches on regional television networks. Parallel to the broadcasts on the national network (TNT, ABC and ESPN), the NBA matches are broadcast locally on cable channels, equivalent to what France 3 Regions offers in France.
Owned by Diamond Sports Group, Bally Sports thus manages the broadcast of local matches of 42 professional franchises, including 16 of the NBA, such as the Clippers, the Suns or the Pistons and the Cavaliers! The problem is that the parent is in default, with a debt of 140 million dollars, and Diamond Sports Group has 30 days to satisfy the creditors before the liquidation procedure begins.
A bankruptcy filing would mean at the same time that each affected franchise would have to find a new broadcaster for their home games. “Will there be a redistribution of the parties? yes Will this be done through regional networks? I really hope so. I hope so,” Steve Ballmer reacted in the Associated Press. “Will their bankruptcy be favorable enough to make this happen? I hope so. Are the creditors likely to want our matches to continue to be shown? I think so. So, in a way, I believe in it without knowing if we’re going to make it. »
A problem in the medium term, but not in the long term
What does Adam Silver think? In the short term, he is not worried because there are only about twenty games left in the regular season.
“In the short term, I’m not worried at all” he said on Saturdayand All-Star Weekend stadium. “It’s generally around the NBA regular season in terms of streaming and distributing those games directly to our customers, and if they were to file for bankruptcy, there wouldn’t be many regular season games left. During this period, we’ll have measures in place, if necessary, to keep broadcasting these games. So I think that’s the most important thing.”
On the other hand, in the medium term, and therefore for the next season, this can be problematic.
“I would say that in the long term I’m not worried because there are many other media and platforms, whether it’s terrestrial television, streaming services or other digital means of direct access to fans. On the other hand, in the medium term, it’s an issue that will have to manage.”