Florida Panthers extend Bally Sports local rights deal

  • Bally Sports Florida to air non-national broadcasts and adds Panthers’ DTC product
  • Contract worth more than double previous deal, according to SBJ
  • 2020/21 Panthers regular season was Florida’s highest-rated locally in nearly two decades

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Florida Panthers have renewed their local media rights deal with the Bally Sports Florida regional sports network (RSN).

The agreement will see Bally Sports air non-national broadcasts and the Panthers’ forthcoming direct-to-consumer (DTC) product addition across the South Florida region.

The ice hockey franchise has described the arrangement as a “reset”, with Bally Sports continuing to produce and distribute all available Panthers games not exclusively assigned to a national rightsholder. The RSN will also televise early round Stanley Cup playoff matchups.

The length and financial details were not disclosed. According to Sports Business Journal (SBJ), the new contract more than doubles the amount the Panthers have been getting from Bally Sports. Their last deal, signed for ten years, was reportedly worth around US $ 6 million per year, though a major chunk of this was paid before the franchise was sold to Vincent Viola in 2013.

SBJ reports the latest pact is worth north of US $ 10 million per season and is in the ‘high teens’.

The tie-up extends the Panthers’ partnership with Bally Sports Florida, which dates back to 1993. Last season, the network revealed that the 2020/21 Panthers regular season ended as Florida’s highest-rated locally in nearly two decades.

“We are excited to announce the reset of our local media rights agreement with Bally Sports to further enhance the way we serve our fanbase now and into the future,” said Carolina Panthers president and chief executive Matt Caldwell.

“The true impact of this extended partnership is a testament to the incredible growth of the Panthers franchise and fanbase over the last decade and indicative of the excitement to come. Under the advisement of Endeavor, we are excited to begin this agreement. With the addition of a direct-to-consumer product, Panthers hockey will be accessible in ways like never before. ”

Steve Tello, Bally Sports Florida’s general manager and senior vice president, added: “We have already seen record numbers in viewership for games this season and expect that interest to only increase as the team reaches new heights.”

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