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MLB, Texas Rangers Win Bally Sports Broadcast Suit

The ruling doesn't mean the Texas Rangers or other teams involved in the suit will get their rights back immediately.

A Houston judge ruled in favor of Major League Baseball late Thursday night its suit against Diamond Sports Group, which manages the broadcasts for more than a dozen MLB teams through the Bally Sports brand.

Per The Athletic, judge Chris Lopez is not reducing the amount that DSG must pay the teams named in the suit, which includes the Texas RangersMinnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians.

"I think the contract rate is the right answer here,” Lopez said. “Just because times have changed doesn’t mean the contract price is clearly unreasonable.”

Lopez has asked that MLB and DSG continue to speak and find a resolution.

The suit was filed by MLB as a result of DSG’s bankruptcy filing earlier this year. The suit was brought to compel DSG to pay rights fees to several teams that it has not paid yet. The goal of the suit was to either get DSG to pay up or to rescind the rights.

DSG has already done that with one MLB team. The San Diego Padres got their TV rights back on Wednesday and MLB is handling the team’s productions the rest of the season.

In this case, the Padres had a financial stake in the Bally Sports network that broadcast its games and DSG had skipped two rights fee payments.

For the Rangers — who do not have a stake in Bally Sports Southwest — they’re still in wait-and-see mode. DSG has already reportedly skipped one payment, which was on April 15. The Rangers are reportedly due another payment on June 15. It’s not clear if the Rangers could take their rights back after that date, based on the judge’s ruling.

The Rangers made it clear before the season that if DSG were to skip a payment they would consider their agreement severed. The Rangers sent a letter to Diamond before it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy stating it would terminate its TV rights agreement if the company became insolvent.

As of now, Rangers games are still on Bally Sports Southwest.

The Rangers originally signed a 20-year, $3 billion deal in 2010 with Fox Sports Southwest, which was purchased by DSG and became Bally Sports Southwest in 2019. It is believed the Rangers are owed $111 million in 2023.

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You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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