MLB will air Arizona Diamondbacks games for free through Sunday on MLB.com and Dbacks.com. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
July 18 (UPI) -- MLB will take over production and distribution of all Arizona Diamondbacks locally distributed games, the league announced Tuesday. The moves comes after previous rights holder Diamond Sports Group filed for bankruptcy protection.
Diamond Sports Group, the parent company of Bally Sports Arizona and a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, said it failed to reach an agreement with MLB, and the Diamondbacks and "rejected" the broadcast rights contract it was offered.
Diamond, which announced in February that it missed a $140 million interest payment, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization March 14. The company held the broadcast rights for 14 MLB teams at the time it filed.
On May 31, MLB also took control of production and distribution of San Diego Padres game broadcasts.
"As MLB has proven with the Padres, we're ready to produce and distribute games to fans, including Diamondbacks games starting today," MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said in a news release.
"While we're disappointed that Diamond Sports Group failed to live up to their contractual agreement with another club, we are taking this opportunity to reimagine the distribution model, remove blackouts on local games, improve the telecast and expand the reach of Diamondbacks games by 4.7 million homes."
Fans in the Diamondbacks market can watch on Cox, Directv, DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Mediacom, Orbitel, Optimum/Suddenlink, Spectrum/Charter, TDS, Xfinity/Comcast and MLB.TV.
"Given the inability to reach an agreement with the Diamondbacks and MLB, we have rejected that rights contract, which had financial terms that were not aligned with Diamond's long-term plans," Diamond said in a statement.
"We are no longer broadcasting Diamondbacks games. We value the relationships we have built with the Diamondbacks and their passionate fans, and we wish them the best going forward."
"Importantly, we are continuing to broadcast games for all other teams under contract without disruption and we anticipate making all rights payments to the remainder of the MLB teams in our portfolio through the end of this season."
Diamondbacks games will be available for free through Sunday on MLB.com and Dbacks.com. The team will face the Atlanta Braves at 7:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Atlanta.