CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – One of the biggest shake-ups in sports media is on the brink of reality.
The parent company of Bally Sports Networks, which broadcasts Charlotte Hornets games, is reportedly preparing for bankruptcy.
Reports by Bloomberg say Diamond Sports Group is heading to bankruptcy court for a nearly $7 billion debt restructuring following a rise in cable cord-cutters.
“I think that they are going to have to reimagine how they are going to interact with their fans through the television,” co-founder of the Crown Club Evan Kent said.
Growing up in the Queen City for the Charlotte local meant developing pride for his team.
“You grow teams by having the fan base and being able to casually interact with it,” Kent said. “There is no real casual way for fans to interact with this team right now.”
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Hornets fans in Charlotte have one way of watching games from home – through a subscription with Bally Sports.
Charlotte is one of several cities where the company has a monopoly over local sports broadcasting.
“When it becomes harder to watch your team in the market than it does outside of the market, people become kind of angry by that,” Kent said.
According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the Hornets licensed their broadcasting rights in 2018 for $20 million a year.
“I hope that this is a little bit of lesson learned by a multitude of leagues and a multitude of teams that this isn’t necessarily fair to the fans that I think some of them realized in this situation that may have forgotten that none of us exist without fans,” Kent said.
Queen City News contacted Bally Sports and the Hornets’ organization for comment.
Bally Sports did not respond by deadline.
The Hornets’ organization said they do not have a comment.