FanDuel, Diamond Sports Group Near RSN Naming Rights Agreement

Diamond Sports Group may have a new naming rights partner for its regional sports networks (RSNs) across the country.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Diamond Sports is close to an agreement with FanDuel to take over branding from Bally’s. This could mean, for example, Bally Sports Midwest, which carries St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues games, could theoretically become the “FanDuel Sports Midwest” channel and app.

Diamond Sports Group needs new partnerships to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings. During a bankruptcy status meeting on Tuesday, Diamond Sports’ attorney confirmed that the group has an agreement in principle to rebrand the RSNs.

FanDuel wasn’t specifically mentioned in Tuesday’s update for the court. The sides still need to finalize and submit the agreement.

Why Diamond Sports Group RSNs Need a Partner

In 2019, Sinclair – through its Diamond Sports Group subsidiary – signed a $10.6 billion rights agreement for 21 MLB, NBA, and NHL teams.

Viewing habits changed since Diamond Sports signed the massive sports broadcasting contract, however. An increasing number of people stream their entertainment content, eliminating the need for cable or satellite subscriptions.

In fact, a late 2021 filing suggests Diamond Sports carried about $8.67 billion in debt. The company is trying to claw its way out of bankruptcy, and a FanDuel agreement offers some potential help toward that goal.

Diamond Sports’ naming rights agreement with Bally’s was set to earn it $88 million over 10 years. Bally’s and DSG are ending the agreement early — Bally Sports RSN branding will end with the conclusion of the 2024 MLB season.

The broadcaster began 2024 with rights agreements still in place to carry 11 MLB, 15 NBA, and 11 NHL teams on its 18 RSNs. Diamond Sports also took on Amazon as a minority partner in January. The company ended its relationship with Sinclair at the start of 2024 as well.

FanDuel Carries a Higher Profile

The switch from Bally’s red to FanDuel blue gives Diamond Sports a higher profile by online sports betting standards. The Bally Bet app is available in seven states: Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New York, Ohio, and Virginia.

FanDuel Sportsbook, meanwhile, typically holds a top-two market share and is online in 21 states plus Washington, DC. The company also offers retail sports betting in Mississippi, Nevada, and Washington.

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About the Author
Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell

Lead Writer
Russ Mitchell joined Gaming Today as a lead writer in February 2023 after joining Catena Media in 2021 as a managing editor for the PlayIA and PlayVA brands. He covers sports betting industry news market developments, the college sports betting industry, and the four major North American pro sports leagues. With 25+ years of journalism experience to Gaming Today. He is a five-time winner of the Iowa’s prestigious Harrison “Skip” Weber Investigative Reporting award, a two-time National Newspaper Association award winner and a 50-time Iowa Newspaper Association award winner.

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