Saturday September 30, 2023

DSG Looks To Use NHL Kings Deal As Reorganization Model

  • Agreement arrives as bankrupt RSN operator nears deadline for reorganization plan
  • NHL team retains long-running relationship with local network
Isaac Brekken/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
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Donovan McNabb and the State of Football

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September 29, 2023 | Podcast
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Diamond Sports Group, the embattled and bankrupt parent of Bally Sports, has completed a multiyear rights agreement with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings — one it intends to use as a template for its reorganization efforts.

The newly completed deal will keep the Kings on Bally Sports, and the network will show about 65 games this coming season, as well as pre- and post-game shows and original programming. 

The agreement also includes digital rights that will offer Kings games both on an authenticated basis to linear subscribers or direct-to-consumer through Bally Sports+.

Most importantly for DSG, the structure of the Kings deal will be a key pillar of the company’s reorganization strategy ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline to submit a formal plan. DSG will have to determine which of its 27 total NBA and NHL team media rights it will keep, a decision requiring meaningful progress on distribution renewal negotiations with Comcast, DirecTV, and Spectrum.

“We are encouraged by the progress we are making in our restructuring progress and are hopeful that this agreement can serve as a model for future discussions with team and league partners,” said David Preschlack, DSG CEO.

While other pro teams such as the Utah Jazz and former Bally Sports partner Phoenix Suns voluntarily opted for other paths in distributing their local games, the Kings still preferred a situation more closely resembling what they’ve been doing for nearly four decades.

“Because of the current, ever-changing dynamics surrounding the broadcasting landscape, our organization is thrilled to present a tremendous broadcast package in conjunction with national league broadcast partners,” the Kings said. “It is an unprecedented reach for us.”

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