Bally Sports network owner files for bankruptcy protection

Bally Sports Network, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The move comes after months of financial difficulties and a tumultuous period for the company, which owns regional sports networks in the United States and Canada.

In a statement, Sinclair said the filing was made in order to resolve its debt and “provide a path forward for the continued success of the Bally Sports networks.”

The move is an attempt to restructure the company's debt and give it a chance to continue operations. The filing does not impact the operations of the Bally Sports networks, Sinclair said.

The company is facing significant financial pressures, including a drop in viewership due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has also been in a long-running dispute with cable providers that has led to some of its networks being dropped from certain providers.

Sinclair bought Bally Sports in 2019, and it has since been one of the largest regional sports networks in the United States. It owns 21 regional sports networks, including Fox Sports Ohio and Fox Sports Carolinas.

The network also carries Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games.

It is unclear how the bankruptcy filing will affect Sinclair's other businesses, including its streaming service STIRR.

The filing comes at a time when the sports broadcasting industry is facing significant changes. The pandemic has caused a significant drop in viewership and revenue, leading to layoffs and furloughs at many networks.

There is also increased competition from streaming services, such as ESPN+, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Sinclair said it is “committed to the long-term success” of the Bally Sports networks, and that it is “diligently working on a plan to ensure their continued success.”