The Los Angeles Kings and Diamond Sports Group have announced a new agreement that will allow the Kings to broadcast in-market games on Bally Sports West. This partnership marks the franchise’s 38th consecutive season on the regional sports network. What makes this deal particularly significant is that it comes after Diamond Sports filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, causing uncertainty in the professional sports world.
Under the multi-year contract, the Kings are set to broadcast 63 games on Bally Sports West during the 2023-24 season, with an additional six games on KCAL. The agreement also grants Diamond Sports the digital rights to the Kings, allowing games to be streamed on their app. However, the future of Diamond Sports remains uncertain as it navigates through bankruptcy court.
Diamond Sports currently operates 19 of its regional sports networks across the United States and launched the sports streaming app Bally Sports+ in 2022. However, the company’s bankruptcy filing raised concerns about its ability to fulfill contractual obligations and potentially put local media rights at risk. In fact, Major League Baseball took over coverage of the San Diego Padres this summer due to Diamond’s financial struggles.
Moving forward, the NBA is cautiously preparing for the upcoming season and has started implementing a backup plan in case Diamond Sports is unable to broadcast games for any of its 15 contracted teams. The Phoenix Suns have already left Diamond Sports RSN and opted for a combination of in-market streaming and free over-the-air channels.
David Preschulak, the CEO of Diamond Sports, expressed his excitement about the new partnership with the Kings, stating that it strengthens Bally Sports West’s commitment to the secondary market and provides Kings fans with access to content on multiple platforms. He also hopes that this agreement can serve as a model for future discussions with teams and league partners.
Overall, this new agreement between the Los Angeles Kings and Diamond Sports Group represents an important development in the changing landscape of regional sports networks and highlights the challenges faced by media companies in the current sports broadcasting industry.