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Preschlack Your Luck

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Amazon has told the NBA that it plans to negotiate on behalf of Diamond for a package of local streaming rights. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
John Ourand
May 2, 2024

Diamond Sports’ 13-month bankruptcy odyssey appeared to hit its denouement yesterday morning when its Bally Sports channels went dark on Comcast cable systems. After all, Diamond C.E.O. Dave Preschlack had been given the unenviable, court-mandated task of saving the company from financial ruin by cutting deals with leagues and cable operators, all while convincing a bankruptcy court that the company could survive amid the dynamic and challenging regional sports network Big Crunch. Preschlack has already orchestrated new deals with Charter and DirecTV, which both offered him a glide path—or a structured, multi-year migration of Bally’s channels from the popular cable tier to a more expensive and less popular digital tier. Comcast, of course, would not move off of the cliff path, which would have cut Diamond’s revenues by so much that the bankruptcy court would nuke its plan.

And yet, somehow, all is not lost. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve learned that Diamond has been tossed yet another lifeline to escape bankruptcy. Amazon, which invested $115 million in the R.S.N. company back in January, has told the NBA that it plans to negotiate on behalf of Diamond for a package of local streaming rights. If Amazon is able to secure a long-term deal for these rights, a distinct possibility, Diamond’s prospects to emerge from bankruptcy would increase materially.