In a boardroom drama that has been simmering on the back-burner for months, Bally Sports Wisconsin—the Milwaukee Bucks’ local television broadcast partner—has a more secure future. News came down the wire yesterday that Bally Sports’s owner, Diamond Sports Group, is being bailed out of bankruptcy by Amazon:
Bally Sports, which broadcasts games from 37 professional and college sports teams across the U.S., is set to stream games directly on Amazon Prime Video—thanks to a proposed debt restructuring agreement for owner Diamond Sports Group. https://t.co/PGzqoVpihU— Forbes (@Forbes) January 17, 2024
You can find the official announcement via Business Wire here. In the agreement, Amazon will not only provide streaming for all 37 teams in the Diamond Sports Group on Amazon Prime, but they have also bought a minority stake in the company. The Bucks are one of fifteen NBA teams that are currently under the Bally/Diamond Sports umbrella. Via the announcement, viewers can watch the NBA, NHL, and MLB games of teams that are part of the group. The tech giant had to bail out Diamond after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of 2023. In court filings, Diamond Sports said they were in debt by 8 billion dollars due to a mix of high-priced broadcasting rights and the continuing trend of cutting cable by Americans.
The date on which these broadcasts will move to Amazon Prime is unknown, as the agreement still has to be decided in bankruptcy court. According to Front Office Sports, after this season, the rights for broadcasting all the NBA and NHL teams will revert to the teams and leagues heading into the 2024–2025 season. It is unknown at this time what the Bucks and the rest of the NBA will do once they get the rights back. As for now, the Bucks will still be on Bally Sports Wisconsin through cable TV and the app. However, if a move to Amazon happens during this season or beyond, we will be right here to let you know all the details.