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Sinclair's Diamond Sports names CEO to grow regional sports networks

Dec 5, 2022
Illustration of a television with soccer balls, basketballs, hockey pucks and lacrosse balls jammed inside.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group that operates its regional Bally Sports networks, has named former NBC Sports executive David Preschlack as its CEO.

Why it matters: The appointment creates more independence for the division, which has been dragged down by debt. Regional sports networks have struggled from subscriber losses due to cord-cutting and the rising costs of broadcasting rights. New leadership will be tasked with changing that fate.

Catch up quick: Sinclair acquired 21 RSNs from Disney for $10.6 billion in 2019, which included taking on $8.2 billion in debt.

Details: Preschlack, who joined Diamond's board in May 2022, is well-versed in RSNs. He served as president of NBC Sports Regional Networks from 2016 to 2021. He had spent 20 years at Disney and ESPN.

  • “Consistent with the financing completed in March of this year and the company's deconsolidation, DSG will establish its independence moving forward under David's leadership," Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in a statement Monday.
  • The CEO news comes after the board of Diamond Sports Group voted to block Sinclair from continuing to manage the RSNs, Sportico first reported Sunday night.

What's next: Ripley said on the company's earnings call last week that LionTree and Moelis & Co. were hired as advisors, confirming August reports.

  • "There is no sale process, but they are talking to parties about deleveraging, strategic partnerships and things of that nature," he said.
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