The Padres and Bally Sports are partners no more.
Major League Baseball abruptly took over production of all Padre local games starting Wednesday with the Padres 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins. But fans have options on multiple platforms to continue watching their favorite team.
The arrangement, according to MLB.com, allows fans to watch games via television or stream, while roughly tripling the reach of the team, from approximately 1.130 million homes to 3.264 million in the Padres’ local territory.
The step became necessary, ESPN reported, when Diamond Sports Group – meaning broadcaster Bally Sports – opted out of paying the Padres the rights fee that was due. With the failure to pay, broadcast rights bounced back to Major League Baseball.
Diamond had until Tuesday to make up the payment to preserve their broadcast agreement.
Fans in the Padres home television territory may find the team on different channels based on their location and providers:
- AT&T U-Verse– 781
- Cox – 4 (California Yurview)
- DirectTV Stream – 694-3
- Spectrum, San Diego, Yuma, Palm Springs, El Centro – 305
- Spectrum Hawaii: 230
Fubo also will offer Friars broadcasts, and will shared the relevant information with subscribers, and fans may opt for an MLB subscription. Padres games will be free on the MLB app through Sunday, but after that, the cost is $19.99 per month or $74.99 for the rest of the regular season.
The status of Padres TV broadcasters Don Orsillo, Mark Grant and Bob Scanlan, as team employees, is unaffected – they will continue to serve in their existing roles. 97.3 The Fan’s radio team, Jesse Agler and Tony Gwynn Jr., also will continue calling games.
ESPN reported though, that personnel and production for pre- and postgame shows has yet to be determined.
Noah Garden, MLB Chief Revenue Officer, said in a statement that the sport views the end to the Bally deal as an “opportunity.”
“While we’re disappointed that Diamond Sports Group failed to live up to their contractual agreement with the club, we are taking this opportunity to reimagine the distribution model, remove blackouts on local games, improve the telecast and expand the reach of Padres games by more than 2 million homes,” he said.
Padres CEO Erik Greupner said officials were “excited to be the first team to partner with Major League Baseball to offer a direct-to-consumer streaming option through MLB.TV without blackouts.”
“Our fans will now have unprecedented access to Padres games through both digital and traditional platforms throughout San Diego and beyond,” he said.
For their part, Bally Sports San Diego, in a Wednesday tweet, said, “Yesterday was our final day of Padres coverage on Bally Sports San Diego. We thank all of the Padres fans for their loyal viewership over the years.”
In a statement, Diamond Sports Group maintained that the firm “has significant liquidity and (has) been making rights payments to teams,” but blamed MLB for a refusal to renegotiate the TV terms for San Diego. DSG contends that “the economics of the Padres’ contract were not aligned with market realities.”
The group, saddled with $8 billion in debt, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in March.