DirecTV Makes Diamond Sports Renewal Official, Secures Packaging Flexibility Similar to What It Carved Out with Charter's SportsNet RSNs


DirecTV on Wednesday said it has finalized a new multiyear carriage agreement with Diamond Sports Group.

The pay TV operator didn't disclose specifics on its deal, but an individual close to the arrangement said DirecTV carved out channel packaging flexibility similar to what was achieved last July when the satellite TV company renewed a contract to carry Charter Communications Lakers- and Dodgers regional sports networks (RSNs), SportsNet and SportsNet LA, respectively.

Notably, DirecTV is not currently carrying RSNs, including the Diamond's Bally Sports-branded channels, in its $70-a-month base "Entertainment" tier.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About the Bally Sports Bankruptcy

“DirecTV has always been a sports leader, and we continue to see significant opportunity for both our residential and commercial customers in local sports," said Rob Thun, chief content officer for DirecTV, in a statement. "We want to ensure our customers receive more flexibility, choice and value, and this agreement provides them with those capabilities. Diamond’s regional sports networks remain a key component of our live sports offering, and we look forward to working with Diamond and the many popular MLB, NBA, NHL, and other teams it retains for years to come under this new agreement.”

Diamond Sports Group, which manages 17 Bally Sports local channels, is trying to exit a bankruptcy restructuring process that's dragged on 15 months. It secured a carriage renewal with Charter early in April, and announced a deal with Cox Communications on Tuesday.

More troublesome is its impasse with Comcast -- 13 Bally Sports channels were pulled off the grids of Xfinity TV customers at 12 a.m. Wednesday, after Diamond and the No. 2 U.S. pay TV operator failed to carve out an agreement.

David Preschlack, CEO of Diamond, stated: “We are pleased to extend our relationship with DirecTV to provide high quality local sports telecasts for passionate fans in the home markets of our team partners. This is a significant development for Diamond, and we highly value the relationship we have built with DirecTV and their customers over the course of many years. We remain focused on executing the steps necessary to reorganize Diamond with a structure that drives sustainable value for our stakeholders, including our distributors and league and team partners.”