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Amazon Will Invest In Diamond Sports As Part Of Bankruptcy Restructuring Agreement

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Amazon will collaborate with Diamond Sports as part of a restructuring arrangement as the largest owner of regional sports networks seeks to exit bankruptcy.

Diamond controls 18 networks under the Bally Sports label. Those networks own 37 professional teams, including 11 baseball, 15 NBA, and 11 NHL.

Diamond Sports has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of Texas since filing in March. In a late 2021 financial file, the corporation reported $8.67 billion in debt.

Diamond Sports announced the terms of the transaction Wednesday morning. Amazon has no comments. It is still subject to clearance by the bankruptcy court.

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Amazon Will Invest In Diamond Sports As Part Of Bankruptcy Restructuring Agreement

The agreement with Diamond Sports’ main creditors permits the company to emerge from bankruptcy, continue operations and avoid a catastrophic collapse of the regional sports network system, which would force the NBA, NHL, and MLB to step in and take over production and distribution of the majority of their teams.

Last season, MLB was forced to take over production and distribution of the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks after Diamond let rights payments to the Padres lapse and could not reach an improved agreement with the Diamondbacks.

According to the terms of the restructuring deal, Amazon will make a minority investment in Diamond and enter into a commercial agreement to provide access to Diamond’s content through Prime Video.

Customers can watch their local team’s programming on Prime Video channels, which Diamond holds rights to. Price and availability will be revealed at a later date. Regional sports material will still be available on cable and satellite providers.

Amazon Prime already offers some New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games broadcast by the YES Network.

Diamond has also agreed, in principle, with Sinclair Broadcast Group to resolve pending litigation between the businesses.

Sinclair acquired the regional sports networks from The Walt Disney Company for almost $10 billion in 2019. The Department of Justice forced Disney to sell the networks before its acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets could be approved.

Amazon Will Invest In Diamond Sports As Part Of Bankruptcy Restructuring Agreement

Even before Sinclair purchased the regional networks, the company was experiencing a downturn owing to cord-cutting and declining advertising revenue after entering into excessive long-term contracts with certain teams.

Diamond Sports Group was spun out from Sinclair last year after reaching an arrangement with its creditors.

Sinclair will pay Diamond $495 million as part of the settlement and will continue supporting Diamond’s reorganization. The settlement monies will also be used to repay some creditors.

“We are thrilled to have reached a comprehensive restructuring agreement that provides a detailed framework for a reorganization plan and substantial new financing that will enable Diamond to operate and thrive beyond 2024,” Diamond Sports CEO David Preschlack said in a statement.

“We are appreciative for Amazon’s and a handful of our top creditors’ backing, as they obviously believe in the business’s value-creation potential.

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Amazon Will Invest In Diamond Sports As Part Of Bankruptcy Restructuring Agreement

Diamond’s immediate priority will be to implement the RSA and emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern for the benefit of our investors, staff, team, league and distribution partners, and the millions of fans who will continue to watch our broadcasts.”

Diamond just finalized agreements with the NHL and NBA to retain local rights through the end of the current season. It is still in talks with Major League Baseball about reworking agreements for the upcoming season, with the next court hearing set for Friday.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

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Starbucks and the union representing its employees in the United States said Tuesday that they have agreed to begin negotiations to achieve a labour agreement.

The announcement was a watershed moment for the two parties, who had been at odds since Workers United initially organised baristas at a Starbucks location in Buffalo, New York, in late 2021.

“Starbucks and Workers United have a shared commitment to establishing a positive relationship in the interests of Starbucks partners,” the company stated. Workers United reiterated these remarks in a similar statement.

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

Workers in more than 370 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States have voted to unionise but have yet to reach a labour agreement with Starbucks.

The process has been cruel. Federal courts have sometimes ordered Starbucks to restore employees fired after leading unionisation efforts at their locations. The National Labour Relations Board’s regional offices have also filed at least 120 complaints against Starbucks for unfair labour practices, including refusing to bargain and reserving wage hikes and other benefits for non-union employees.

Starbucks stated Tuesday that, as a gesture of goodwill, it will provide workers in unionised locations the benefits promised in May 2022, including the option for customers to tip their credit card purchases.

Starbucks was the first to say it desired a better relationship with the union. In December, the corporation stated it intended to reopen labour negotiations to ratify contract agreements by 2024. Before that, the two parties had not spoken in seven months.

During last week’s conversations, the two sides agreed there was “a constructive path forward on the broader issue of the future of organising and collective bargaining at Starbucks.”

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

On Tuesday, Starbucks and Workers United announced that they will also consider ending their case. Starbucks sued Workers United in October, alleging that a pro-Palestinian social media post from a union account early in the Israel-Hamas conflict enraged hundreds of customers and harmed the company’s brand.

The corporation insisted that the union not use its name or likeness. Workers United countersued, claiming Starbucks defamed the union and indicated it backed terrorism.

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

“While there is plenty of work ahead, coming together to develop this framework is a significant step forward and a clear demonstration of a shared commitment to working collaboratively and with mutual respect,” the organisation said. Starbucks repeated the comments.

SOURCE – (AP)

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

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The Federal Aviation Administration imposed a 90-day deadline for Boeing to address quality and safety issues.

According to the agency, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker and Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun met for a full day on Tuesday, during which Whitaker made the demand.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

That discussion occurred the day after a year-long FAA-commissioned investigation discovered a “disconnect” between Boeing executives and employees about safety, with employees fearing transfer or stopped career progression for reporting safety issues.

The discussion came ahead of the expected release of a six-week FAA investigation of Boeing’s production line, which was prompted by investigators discovering that key bolts were not put on a Boeing 737 Max 9 door plug that burst open during flight.

The FAA stated that the Boeing plan must address shortcomings in the company’s Safety Management System, or SMS, and integrate the SMS programme with another quality programme. SMS is a guidebook designed to guide staff through the procedures necessary to ensure the safety of flights.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

However, despite a comprehensive rewrite of the handbook in recent years, the panel discovered that “many Boeing employees did not demonstrate knowledge of Boeing’s SMS efforts, nor its purpose and procedures.”

The group that reported on Boeing’s safety inadequacies on Monday suggested that the firm resolve those flaws within six months; the FAA’s new directive sets a shorter deadline.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

Boeing’s proposal must result in a “measurable, systemic shift in manufacturing quality control,” according to the FAA.

Boeing has a history of safety breaches. The January 5 blowout incident resulted in a 19-day emergency grounding of all Max 9s and renewed scrutiny of Boeing following the tragic Max 8 disasters in 2018 and 2019.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

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LONDON ROTHSCHILD — his family announced that Jacob Rothschild, 87, a financier and philanthropist from the legendary Rothschild banking line, died on Monday.

Jacob began his career in 1963 at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, before branching out to develop enterprises and charity organisations. His family paid tribute to him in a statement.

“Our father Jacob was a towering presence in many people’s lives, a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather,” a statement from his family stated.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

“He will be buried in accordance with Jewish custom in a small family ceremony, and there will be a memorial at a later date to celebrate his life,” they continued, without revealing any other information.

According to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, the Rothschild family is worth approximately 825 million pounds ($1 billion). It donates millions of pounds to Jewish interests, education, and art.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the political and cultural heavyweights who paid tribute to Rothschild. Blair lauded him as a “towering figure in Britain’s Jewish community” and praised his efforts to promote Middle East peace.

Jacob was born in Berkshire, west of London. He attended Eton College and studied history at Christ Church College, Oxford University.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

After leaving the Rothschild Bank, he took over Rothschild Investment Trust, now RIT Capital Partners. He served as chairman of the business, one of the largest investment trusts on the London Stock Exchange, until 2019.

He also co-founded the then-J Rothschild Assurance Group, now St James’s Place, with Mark Weinberg in 1980 and served as deputy chairman of what was then BSkyB Television, among other duties.

In the cultural sector, he served as chairman of the National Gallery of London’s board of trustees and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

The Rothschild Foundation, which manages the family’s former home, the country house Waddesdon Manor, announced that Jacob Rothschild’s daughter Hannah will follow him as chair.

Jacob was married to Serena for over 50 years until she died in 2019. They have four children (Hannah, Beth, Emily, and Nat) and several grandchildren.

SOURCE – (AP)

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