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Diamond Sports seeks to cut NBA, NHL fees in last-ditch bid to survive

Diamond Sports Group, the nation’s largest regional sports network, is actively negotiating renewal of carriage fee agreements with major pay-TV distributors Comcast, Charter, and DirecTV. These negotiations are crucial for Diamond Sports as they undergo restructuring following their Chapter 11 filing in March 2023. A successful renewal with these distributors, who collectively reach 38 million household subscribers and account for 81% of total affiliate revenue, would significantly impact Diamond Sports' financial stability.

In April, Diamond Sports renewed its distribution package with Charter Communications, allowing Spectrum TV Select Plus package subscribers access to Diamond’s channels and content through the Bally’s Sports app. Similarly, a month later, they reached a renewal agreement with DirecTV, ensuring continued access for DirecTV customers and offering a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) product for those without access. However, renewal talks with Comcast hit an impasse, leading to the removal of RSN channels from Comcast, the largest pay-TV distributor in the nation.

As part of their reorganization strategy, Diamond Sports secured a $115 million investment from Amazon, providing a 15% ownership stake. This partnership allows Amazon Prime Video to stream games from Diamond Sports. Additionally, Diamond Sports has been in discussions with NBA and NHL franchises regarding digital rights and longer agreements to enable streaming on Amazon Prime Video. These negotiations are crucial as they could impact MLB's direct-to-consumer strategy, particularly if Diamond Sports successfully emerges from bankruptcy protection. (Source:Forbes)


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