Diamond Sports Group (DSG), the largest owner of regional sports networks (RSNs) in the US, has reached an agreement with basketball’s NBA to retain local broadcasts of 15 teams on the Bally Sports network until the end of the season.
The agreement featured in a court filing made on Monday (November 6) and is now subject to court approval.
While there will be a reduction in rights payments for some teams, the local rights for 15 franchises will revert to those teams and the league at the end of the ongoing 2023-24 campaign.
The NBA teams currently on Bally Sports are the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs.
The Phoenix Suns ended their partnership with DSG earlier this year after becoming the first US basketball franchise to abandon the RSN local media rights format, striking a deal for free Arizona coverage with Gray Television channels and for the creation of a streaming service with video technology firm Kiswe.
However, DSG launched legal action against the Suns and the team’s new broadcast partners for the move, claiming it breached their RSN deal.
DSG also has rights to 11 teams in ice hockey's NHL and is in talks with that league for a similar agreement.
In a statement, DSG said: “Our newly-signed agreements with the NBA, Comcast, and our creditors reflect significant progress on Diamond’s path forward.
“Diamond has been broadcasting NBA and NHL games and will continue to do so while the court considers our motions, and while discussions with the NHL finalize with respect to their own new deal.”
DSG has been navigating bankruptcy proceedings since March and has since separated from Sinclair Broadcast Group to become a standalone company.
The NBA agreement brings some stability to fans and teams after baseball’s MLB was forced to take over the broadcasts of San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks games last season after deals could not be reached.
The Diamondbacks are owed $24.6 million by the broadcaster, while the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes are suing DSG to reclaim almost $18 million in unpaid rights fees.
DSG did, however, agree to a multi-year local broadcast agreement with the Los Angeles Kings.
Meanwhile, the NBA has announced that the 2025 All-Star Game will be held in San Francisco.
The 74th edition of the game will take place at Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors.
The venue, which opened in 2019, will host the event for the first time.
The Warriors previously hosted the NBA All-Star in the Bay Area in 2000 at Oakland Arena in Oakland and in 1967 at the Cow Palace in Daly City.
This season’s NBA All-Star Game will take place in Indianapolis from February 15 to 18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers.
Last year’s edition was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.