Golden Knights TV partner AT&T Sports Net filing for bankruptcy

Golden Knights TV broadcassting rights now up in air as AT&T Sports Net files bankruptcy notice.
Golden Knights TV broadcassting rights now up in air as AT&T Sports Net files bankruptcy notice. /

Starting in the 2023-24 season, the Vegas Golden Knights will have a brand new television viewing experience as the AT&T Sports Net properties will officially be no more before the end of the season. The fast free fall of the regional sports networks continue to make major waves and now it will have an immediate impact on the Golden Knights.

The AT&T SportsNet properties, which is the official regional broadcaster for the Vegas Golden Knights, Seattle Kraken and Pittsburgh Penguins, has now given notice that they will be going into a different direction when it comes to the business. Warner Bros. Discovery, the current owner of the AT&T Sports Net properties, has announced that they are getting out of the regional sports network business.

The recent struggles of the Bally Sports regional sports networks have already made industry and national headlines from coast to coast. With Diamond Sports (parent company of Bally Sports RSNs and a subsidiary of Sinclair) in the process of declaring bankruptcy and the struggles of the NBC Sports regional networks, the downward slide may be heading for a full on avalanche and we are now seeing that process play out in real time out in the pubic arena.

AT&T Sports Networks to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy

With regards to the wants and needs of Warner Bros. Discovery, according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, the teams have been given a March 31 deadline to reach agreements to take their broadcast rights back. If there is no agreement by that fast approaching deadline, the company plans to move towards a Chapter 7 liquidation filing.

The fall of the bundled cable television model in favor of streaming options such as YouTube TV, Fubo TV, ESPN+ and others, has seen a sharp decline in revenue and subscriptions towards that are passed on to the networks themselves.

AT&T Sports Net to shut down
Golden Knights TV broadcassting rights now up in air as AT&T Sports Net files bankruptcy notice. /

What is Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what does this mean for the Golden Knights?

To put things in simple terms, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is in layman’s terms, a liquidation filing. In other words, businesses that file this type of bankruptcy are moving past the point of reorganization and MUST sell off all of their assets to pay their creditors. With the March 31 deadline already fast approaching. we will be seeing some major moves come within the next few weeks.

When it comes to the Golden Knights, if an agreement is reached to take back their broadcasting rights, they will be allowed to use the same production staff and equipment to bring you the games to air. In other words, there will more than likely some change towards the end of the season with viewing options but the process has not totally been detailed.

The NHL has recently stated that it is monitoring the fast changing landscape of the regional sports network business and will be ready to step in to provide in-market coverage for individual teams.

This does mean that next season, the Golden Knights will have new home for hockey viewing as early as the playoff run and as late as the start of the 2023-24 NHL season.  In all likelihood, the regional broadcasts will still operate business as usual until the end of the season but how that is done is a major question mark. Among the question marks is whether the NHL and ESPN, which holds the out of market rights in the United States, will open up the mandatory blackout for in-market streaming.

The bankruptcy filings between AT&T Sports Networks and Bally Sports are similar, but the main difference is that Bally Sports intends to stick around after going through the process. The AT&T Sports Networks are going away completely.

The details regarding this story are changing by the minute and day. We will keep you up to date on any changes that are made.

Vegas Hockey Knight
Vegas Hockey Knight /

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