The Los Angeles Kings and Diamond Sports Group announced a new deal Thursday that will allow the team to have its in-market games broadcast on Bally Sports West. While this will be the franchise’s 38th straight season on the regional sports network, the deal is notable because it represents a new contract for Diamond Sports, which threw the professional sports world into tumult when it filed for bankruptcy in the spring.
The two sides agreed to a multi-year deal. The Kings will have 63 games broadcast on Bally Sports West during the 2023-24 season and another six on KCAL. The agreement also gives Diamond Sports the King’s digital rights, which will allow them to stream games on their app as well.
This deal comes while Diamond Sports’ future remains uncertain and tied to the courts. It is currently meandering through bankruptcy court while its future is up in the air. The company also sued its parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting, in July for improperly siphoning away $1.5 billion.
Diamond Sports runs 19 RSNs across the country and launched a sports streaming app, Bally Sports+, in 2022. When it filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, it created uncertainty for teams across the NHL, MLB and NBA who have their games broadcast on Diamond’s RSNs, with concerns about whether the company would be able to live up to its contractual obligations and if their local media rights would be endangered.
Major League Baseball took over broadcasts for the San Diego Padres this summer, and Diamond tried to get out of making its full rights payments to other MLB teams before a judge stepped in. The NBA is cautiously preparing for its upcoming season but has started working on backup plans in case a Diamond RSN can’t broadcast games for any of the 15 teams it has a deal with. The Phoenix Suns left a Diamond Sports RSN this summer for a combination of in-market streaming and a free over-the-air channel.
“This partnership furthers our commitment to the Bally Sports West distribution markets and to providing LA Kings fans with in-depth coverage of their favorite team on multiple platforms,” Diamond Sports CEO David Preschlack said in a statement. “Additionally, we are encouraged by the progress we are making in our restructuring process and are hopeful that this agreement can serve as a model for future discussions with our team and league partners.”
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