Diamond Sports signs carriage deal with Charter as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11

As it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy, Diamond Sports Group has signed a key carriage deal with Charter.

Under the new agreement, customers will continue to have access to live, local MLB, NBA and NHL games and pre- and post-game content on Diamond’s RSN channels through Charter’s Spectrum TV Select Plus package.

Additionally, Spectrum TV Select Plus customers will be able to stream Diamond’s RSN content by authenticating with their subscription credentials on the Bally Sports app. Customers who do not have access to Diamond’s RSN channels as part of their service will be able to purchase Diamond’s direct-to-consumer product, including from Spectrum, to access all local DTC content for the teams for which Diamond retains DTC rights.

Charter, which is the largest pay television provider in the U.S., will carry DSG’s Bally Sports and other RSNs on its Spectrum TV Select Plus Tier, which starts at around $75 a month before fees. 

It notably will not be available on the “Select Signature” plan, which is about $10 less expensive.

The deal extends over multiple years. 

“Extending our distribution relationship with Charter is a key milestone and an important part of our go-forward plan, as we remain focused on restructuring the company and moving forward as a sustainable, profitable business,” said Diamond CEO David Preschlack in a statement. “We expect this agreement to generate value for Diamond, Charter and our team and league partners, and enable us to continue providing high quality broadcasts for passionate local fans. We believe this agreement can serve as a model in the ongoing time-sensitive negotiations with our other distribution partners to reach carriage agreements that work for all parties.”

The channels will, however, get new names again once the current MLB season ends as Diamond prepares to exit its naming rights deal with Bally.

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Diamond could get a bankruptcy judge’s OK as soon as April 17, 2024.

Diamond is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group and Allen Media Group and was forced into bankruptcy after missing payments to lenders and franchises. 

It runs 19 regional sports networks across the U.S. formerly run under the Fox Sports Networks arm.

The group inked short-term renewals with Comcast and DirecTV in late 2023 but could face challenges in getting multi-year deals signed.

Signing additional carriage deals could also prove important in order to boost revenue and viewership, though no firm announcements have been made.

Meanwhile, DSG also had to handle broadcast rights renegotiations with NBA, NHL and MLB teams, a process that likely had to be handled delicately given its financial position.