Former NBC Sports executive David Preschlack will head up Sinclair’s Diamond Sports Group subsidiary as chief executive, overseeing the troubled Bally Sports regional sports networks.
Appointed by Diamond Sports Board, the new role and move signals Diamond Sports becoming more independent from Sinclair, which separated financials earlier this year.
“DSG has achieved significant milestones over the past three years, including an intricate transition from Disney and Fox, a complete rebrand of the networks and the launch of a ground-breaking direct-to-consumer sports platform,” said Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair and member of DSG’s Board of Managers, in a statement. “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.”
Preschlack more than 25 years of sports marketing experience, most recently from NBC Sports where he served as presidents of regional networks and EVP of content strategy for the NBC Sports Group. He’s been a member of Diamond’s Board of Managers since May 2022. At NBC Sports, Preschlack oversaw nine regional networks and managed relationships with partners such as the NBA, MLB, and NHL teams.
As noted by the Sports Business Journal, creditors have been frustrated by friction developing between Sinclair and certain sports leagues, such as the MLB.
Prior to NBC Sports, Preschlack had a 20-year career with Disney and ESPN, including EVP of affiliate sales and marketing where he managed content distributed to MVPDs.
“David is the ideal person to lead Diamond at this critical point in its development,” said Randy Freer, chairman of DSG’s Board of Managers, who alongside Preschlack was appointed as part of new slate of directors for Diamond in May. “David possesses a unique combination of deep sports broadcasting expertise, sound business judgment, and a track record of successfully managing relationships with major sports leagues and multichannel video programming distributors that will be invaluable as we work to realize the full potential of DSG’s Bally Sports Networks.”
Diamond and its Bally Sports RSNs have challenges to work through, including league relationships and financials, as well as looking to grow its recently launched direct-to-consumer Bally Sports+ offering. Bally Sports+, meant to bring 19 regional sports networks directly to fans without the need for a pay TV subscription, had a soft launch in June with a full launch in September. Executives have previously said they were pleased with early results.
In a statement Monday, Preschlack pointed to some of these areas as his initial focus in the new role, while also saying Diamon “is uniquely situated to create a differentiated and truly integrated regional sports offering that puts fans first by delivering live local sports in an immersive engagement environment.”
“My focus over the next few months will be on fostering and strengthening the relationships with our league partners and addressing the Company’s legacy financial issues, including strengthening our balance sheet, so that we can position Diamond to drive long-term, sustainable value for our stakeholders,” Preschlack stated.
Diamond Sports posted a $1.2 billion net loss in the third quarter, with revenue down 10%.