Breaking News: Dallas Stars Part Ways with Bally Sports Southwest Amid Financial Struggles…

Dallas Stars and Bally Sports Southwest Part Ways

The Dallas Stars have ended their association with Diamond Sports Group and its Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs). According to Sportico, Diamond filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to terminate its media rights contract with the Stars.

Originally, the Stars requested the mutual termination of the contract, which was set to run until May 2025. Diamond eventually agreed, citing that the advertising and affiliate revenues from the RSN’s broadcasts of the team did not cover the rights fees. Diamond’s counsel, John Higgins, stated that the costs of maintaining the agreement, including significant rights fees, outweighed the revenues generated from broadcasting the Stars’ games.

In 2014, the Stars signed a media rights deal with Fox Sports Southwest (now Bally Sports Southwest), reportedly earning $20 million annually. Despite parting ways with Bally Sports, the Stars are moving forward with plans to launch a free, ad-supported direct-to-consumer app to stream games. They are also negotiating a new local media rights deal.

The Stars are the second NHL team this week to leave Bally Sports, following the Florida Panthers, who recently won the Stanley Cup. The Panthers are now the third NHL team to secure a local media rights deal with Scripps Sports, joining the Vegas Golden Knights and Utah Hockey Club.

Scripps owns an Ion affiliate, KPXD, in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The departure of the Stars puts Bally Sports Southwest in a precarious position. In November, former Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed concerns about the team’s media rights, which reportedly pay $50 million annually. Additionally, the Texas Rangers have had conflicts with Diamond Sports Group, with their agreement set to end after the 2024 season.

Over the past year, Diamond has shut down two RSNs: Bally Sports San Diego and Bally Sports Arizona, losing the broadcasting rights for the Padres, Suns, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes.

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