Suns To Broadcast Games On TV For Free Next Season
Apr 28, 2023, 1:08 PM | Updated: 1:10 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY – The Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury announced Friday that their games next season will be broadcast direct-to-consumer over-the-air next season.
The teams’ broadcast rights have recently been owned by Bally Sports Arizona, but with the television contract ending, Suns and Mercury owner Matt Isbhia announced that local NBA and WNBA broadcasts would be made available to fans across Arizona.
“I’ve said from day one that our focus is our fans, our community, and every member of our organization and this deal checks every box,” Ishbia said in a release.
We're excited to be partnering with the @Suns, @PhoenixMercury, & @GrayTelevision on a new direct-to-fan streaming solution that ensures the 2.8 million households in Arizona have access to the games of these iconic teams. Read the full press release here https://t.co/M42Gm0lwW4 pic.twitter.com/80o7ST2tCu
— Kiswe 📹 (@KisweVideo) April 28, 2023
“By going entirely over the air and building our own DTC (direct-to-consumer) product, the Suns and Mercury will now be accessible to millions more fans in Arizona and globally. Success comes from new and innovative ways to invest in our players, continue our mission to build a world-class organization on and off the floor and make our product available to as many people as possible.”
The Suns’ deal will give the team a minimum of 70 non-national exclusive games in the regular season appearing between Arizona’s Family 3TV and AZ Family Sports Network, which launched in March. At least 40 games will air on 3TV, with the remaining on AZ Family Sports Network.
“Cord cutters, cable subscribers, fans with an antenna – everyone will be able to watch Suns and Mercury games on Arizona’s Family,” Ishbia said.
Related: Suns and Mercury announce new TV deal, leaving Bally Sports for Gray
The new agreement will also see the Suns and Mercury team with Kiswe, a video technology company that provides live-streaming media via their team-affiliated app.
Ishbia said that offering over-the-air broadcasts, teamed with ” an industry leader like Kiswe to provide an innovative digital streaming solution allows us to transform the way fans watch our games, giving them more options and access than they’ve ever had.”
Jazz Plan To Announce New Broadcast Partner
The Suns and Mercury’s move to broadcast television is a significant change for both the NBA and WNBA that has traditionally required fans to subscribe to a regional sports network like AT&T SportsNet or Bally Sports to watch games.
The Jazz’s contract with AT&T SportsNet expired at the end of the 2022-23 season, and the team plans to announce a new broadcast partner this summer.
In March, Jazz owner Ryan Smith told the KSL Sports Zone that his goal was to provide fans a simpler option to view games with their next broadcast deal.
“I want every single Jazz fan, no matter where they are in the state and beyond, to be able to watch our games in any format that they want to,” Smith said, “and I want it to be easy.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has told NBA teams to prepare to see their local broadcasts change with the widespread failure of regional sports networks.
During All-Star weekend in Utah, Silver said there were “over-the-air television, streaming services, other methods, to bring those games linear and digitally directly to fans.”
AT&T SportsNet has been carrying Jazz games since 2009. The original 12-year agreement to carry games expired in 2021, but an exclusive negotiating window for AT&T SportsNet has kept the Jazz on the network over the last two seasons.
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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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