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Blood Diamond

major league baseball
As the Major League Baseball negotiations remain stalemated just a month before the season commences, Diamond C.E.O. David Preschlack doesn’t have time to screw around—he needs to make deals to bring in revenue to service the debt, and stat. Photo: Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images
John Ourand
February 29, 2024

Where does one even begin with the saga of Diamond Sports, the country’s largest and most troubled owner of regional sports networks? Does one start at the original sin, when Bob Iger was forced by antitrust laws to flip a portfolio of Fox Sports networks to Sinclair for about $10.5 billion, including a noose of $8 billion in debt, as an addendum to Disney’s (retrospectively questionable) $70 billion-plus consummation of the tastier Murdoch assets? Or does one begin with the wholesale collapse of the linear TV bundle and (retrospectively unwise) decision made by Fox Sports executives years ago to spend $100 million annually on local broadcast rights for teams like the Texas Rangers, or $60 million per year to air the always under-delivering and themselves debt-strapped San Diego Padres?

Or does one fast-forward to Diamond’s failure to make a $140 million interest payment last year, which plunged the company into bankruptcy? Or Amazon’s $115 million investment, contingent upon a restructuring, to be Diamond’s exclusive streaming partner? Look, I’ll save everyone the unmitigated hell and begin by telling you the good news, which you likely already know: Diamond’s recently structured $450 million debtor-in-possession financing plan, including the Amazon rescue investment, was formally approved by the bankruptcy judge this week. The company will use the cash to pay down its debts and begin operationalizing. Hooray…?