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Thursday newsletter time: Rangers fans’ TV nightmare could be coming to an end

(AP photo/Jeff Roberson)

 

 

Fans of the world champions might be about to score another victory — the end of the Rangers’ media rights deal with Bally Sports.

The Athletic reported on Wednesday night that Diamond Sports Group, which operates the Bally networks, said in court that it could be ending two of its deals with teams. The Athletics, citing anonymous sources, said that one of the team is the Rangers and the other is the Guardians.

The Rangers are owed $111 million as part of the massive 20-year, $3 billion deal negotiated by Chuck Greenberg in 2010. A Diamond Sports attorney said that the agreements being dropped are too expensive for them to continue without concessions.

If Diamond follows through with ending its deal with the Rangers, MLB could take over broadcasts for 2024, as it did with the Padres and the Diamondbacks last season. The Rangers could also negotiate their own deal with a new broadcast partner, and they would seem to be in a good positions to do that.

They are the reigning world champions and appear to be in position to contend for more titles for multiple seasons going forward. There will be takers out there, though it might be difficult for them get $111 million a season with more viewers cutting the cord from cable and choosing to stream.

Maybe the Rangers could join forces with the Mavs and Stars, whose games are also on Bally, to create their own network similar to the Yes Network with the Yankees and Nets or NESN with the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.

The good news is more fans should be able to watch Rangers baseball again (relatively) soon.

Manfred in Arlington

MLB owners have been in Arlington this week for their quarterly meetings, which end this morning. The big news is that owners will be voting on the A’s move to Las Vegas, and the relocation was expected to pass easily.

It did, passing unanimously.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to speak with the media after the vote, and he’s had some foot-in-his-mouth moments in regards to the A’s situation. Maybe he’s learned his lesson, though the easy vote might be a time for him to speak his mind again.

The rest of baseball, though, might like to know where the A’s are going to play after next season, when their lease at Oakland Coliseum expires. The rodents might want to know, too.

From a Rangers perspective, Manfred might have an update on the TV situation. Stay tuned.

Opening Day relievers?

The Rangers added right-hander Marc Church and left-hander Antoine Kelly to the 40-man roster Tuesday, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft and potentially setting them up the MLB debuts in 2024.

They could debut March 28 in the season opener.

The Rangers should have a wide-open bullpen after last season, but they also have a deep group of bullpen arms returning. Depending on how many starters are added in free agency, there could be a few starters working as relievers.

Church and Kelly have live arms. Big arms. Power stuff. They have no experience, but that has never stopped the Rangers. At the very least Church, who can work multiple innings, and Kelly, who approaches 100 mph with his fastball, will be in big-league camp and will receive an extended look.

Doggy video!

Not sure what could make me this excited, excluding Mexican food. Enjoy.

 

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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4 Comments

  1. Monty W November 16, 2023

    I know I’m in the minority on this one, but Bally’s has been fine for me. Living in the Houston area, I stream DirecTV. They were one of the few who carried Bally’s so I was able to watch the games all year. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch the World Champs defend their title all next year on whatever platform they end up on.

    Reply
    1. Jeff Wilson November 17, 2023

      I do DirecTV stream as well. I have no problem with Bally, but as you said, we are in the minority on this one.

      Reply
  2. Charles Neeley November 16, 2023

    I live in Midland and watch virtually every Rangers game on Bally. If Bally is booted, please make a deal with Optimum, else I am finished watching the Rangers after many decades (through no fault of my own).

    Reply
  3. deGrom Texas Ranger November 18, 2023

    Kelly and Bush in the same bullpen pitching scoreless innings against the Brewers would be ironic and hilarious. The same goes for R Lopez and Giolito pitching against the Nationals, White Sox, or Angels. They always folloe each other around. Now, I hate blackouts so much that I don’t care if this means they only sign Hader and just trade for everyone else instead.

    Reply

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