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NHL, Diamond Sports Group reach agreement to continue local broadcasts through 2023-24

The NHL and Diamond Sports Group reached an agreement that would allow for Diamond’s regional sports networks, known as Bally’s, to continue broadcasting uninterrupted through the end of the 2023-24 season.
The deal, revealed in court documents filed Wednesday, impacts 11 NHL franchises: the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. It also ends those clubs’ agreements with Diamond, some of which extended to 2030, at the end of this season.
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“It’s a resolution that we are comfortable with in light of the totality of circumstances,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Athletic in an email exchange. “It ensures that all our teams will be able to continue to broadcast their games to local fans throughout the balance of the season. That has always been our top priority.”
The deal, which is similar to one reached between the NBA and Diamond last month, will go before a bankruptcy court in Houston on Jan. 3 for approval.
Diamond, though a spokesperson, declined to comment.
There has been concern among NHL fans about their clubs’ games being televised since Diamond filed for bankruptcy last March. With that filing, the court gave Diamond and the NHL permission to seek this term sheet, an agreement on how to proceed.
After this season, the broadcast rights for all 11 affected clubs will return to the NHL, but nobody can say yet what those clubs’ TV plans will look like next season and beyond.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Amazon.com, Inc., is in talks with Diamond and its creditors about acquiring multiyear streaming rights to MLB, NBA and NHL games that are currently carried on cable channels operated by the regional sports networks (RSNs). Any possible deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.
This deal does not preclude the impacted teams from signing new deals with Diamond on the other side of bankruptcy, one source briefed on the negotiations said.
(Photo: Aaron Doster / USA Today)

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