Dallas Stars Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars are the latest team to move on from the Diamond Sports Group and its stable of Bally Sports RSNs.

Per Sportico, Diamond filed a motion Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas to dissolve its media rights contract with the Stars.

The Stars initially requested that the pact, which ran through May 2025, be mutually terminated, and Diamond eventually agreed.

Diamond agreed to the Stars’ proposal after determining that advertising and affiliate revenues generated by via the RSN’s telecasts of the team are not sufficient to offset the rights fees. “[T]he debtors have determined that the costs associated with performing under the Stars agreement for its remaining term, including payment of substantial rights fees, outweigh the revenues the debtors are able to obtain through broadcasting Stars games,” Diamond counsel John Higgins wrote.

Back in 2014, the Stars signed a new media rights deal with Fox Sports Southwest (now Bally Sports Southwest). A decade ago, the team was reportedly making $20 million annually in media rights payments.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the Stars’ plans to launch a free, ad-supported direct-to-consumer app to stream games. Those plans are apparently still on, while Sportico also reports the team is negotiating a new local media rights deal.

The Stars are the second NHL team this week to leave Bally Sports behind, following the newly-crowned Stanley Cup champion Florida Panthers. The Panthers are the third NHL team to secure a local media rights deal with Scripps Sports, following the Vegas Golden Knights and Utah Hockey Club (signed before the franchise relocated from Arizona).

Notably, Scripps does own an Ion affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, KPXD.

Bally Sports Southwest may be on shaky legs following the Stars’ departure. In November, Dallas Mavericks then-owner Mark Cuban began making some noise about the team’s media rights, which reportedly pay $50 million annually. The reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers have also publicly clashed with the Diamond Sports Group going back to last year, and an agreement between Diamond and the team reached in February ends their affiliation after the 2024 season.

Over the last year, Diamond has shut down two RSNs: Bally Sports San Diego (which aired the Padres while also simulcasting NBA and NHL games from Bally Sports West and SoCal) and Bally Sports Arizona (which saw the Suns, Diamondbacks, and Coyotes all exit in 2023).


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.