Ryan Smith: Anyone With ‘Rabbit Ears’ Will Catch Jazz Games

Jun 6, 2023, 1:40 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2023, 1:22 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – With the new Utah Jazz television broadcast deal expected to be announced this month, team owner Ryan Smith teased that next season, games will be available to fans without a cable or satellite subscription.

On the SportsNet “32 Thoughts” podcast in Canada, Smith discussed the potential for Utah to welcome an NHL franchise to the state and discussed the pending TV rights deal.

“Right now we’re producing Jazz games to 40 percent of our market, I stood up publicly and said that’s not going to fly next year, we’re going wall to wall in the state,” Smith said.

“Everyone’s going to have access, if you’ve got rabbit ears on your television, you’re going to be able to watch the games. And that’s super important to me because we’ll figure out how to offset the revenue contract for that another way.”

Changes Coming To Utah Jazz Broadcasts

Though Smith didn’t announce which network would carry the Jazz games, the ability to reach more homes is welcome news for fans who struggled to find the broadcasts in recent years.

The Jazz’s contract with AT&T SportsNet expired at the end of the 2022-23 season with plans to announce a new broadcast partner in the coming weeks.

In March, Jazz owner Ryan Smith told the KSL Sports Zone that his goal was to provide fans with 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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Ryan Smith: Anyone With ‘Rabbit Ears’ Will Catch Jazz Games