Deal includes an equity stake in DSG

FanDuel reportedly nearing RSNs naming rights deal with Diamond Sports Group, replacing Bally

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US gambling giant FanDuel is nearing a deal with Diamond Sports Group (DSG) to acquire naming rights for its 18 regional sports networks (RSNs), replacing Bally as the brand name for these networks.

The multi-year agreement reportedly also includes FanDuel-related programming on DSG's channels, an equity stake in the media company for FanDuel, and the resale of Diamond's streaming service to FanDuel's customers, Bloomberg reported.

FanDuel, owned by Flutter Entertainment, last reported $4.4 billion in annual gaming revenues and operates its own linear television station and over-the-top (OTT) video platform, FanDuel TV, and a recently launched free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel.

The current naming rights agreement between DSG and Ballys, another US gambling corporation, is set to expire at the end of the current Major League Baseball (MLB) season.

DSG, undergoing a restructuring process following a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in March 2023, has been affected by a decline in pay-TV subscribers and the lack of a viable direct-to-consumer product. Acquired by Sinclair for $9.6 billion from Disney in 2019, the company's networks broadcast 38 teams in MLB, the NBA, and the NHL.

At a recent bankruptcy court hearing, DSG indicated that a new naming rights deal for its RSNs was imminent as part of its efforts to exit bankruptcy, the report said. The company has secured carriage deals with major cable distributors, including Charter, DirecTV, and Cox, but lacks an agreement with Comcast.

DSG has faced criticism from MLB, the NBA, and the NHL for not providing details about its long-term plans. Its confirmation hearing has been postponed to July 29.

MLB is considering an in-market DTC streaming service using reclaimed rights from DSG, while the NBA and NHL plan to reclaim their rights after their 2023/24 postseasons.

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