The Arizona Coyotes are breaking from regional sports network Bally Sports and moving to television over the air with a new deal with Scripps Sports.
The NHL team said on Thursday that it had struck a multi-year deal with Scripps to televise games locally. The games will air on Antenna TV on Channel 15.2 (KNXV.2), and on channel 85 on Cox. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The team comes as Bally Sports yesterday asked a judge in its bankruptcy court proceeding for permission to cease paying the Arizona Coyotes contract, as Bally Sports’ parent company, Diamond Sport Group, seeks to shut down its Arizona regional sports network. The company had already parted ways with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns, essentially eliminating its presence in the state.
Bally Sports is still awaiting word from the bankruptcy court judge on its request to extend its deadline to lay out its reorganization plan. It’s part of a broader demise of regional sports networks, with teams cutting deals with local broadcasters, starting their own streaming service, or a combination of the two. The Suns and Mercury will air its gams on KTVK and KPHE.
For Coyotes fans, this means an end to the uncertainty over where to catch games and more ready access with its broadcasts on the Scripps-owned KNXV.2. All but one game will air on the network, with one game televised nationally on EPSN+.
“We are thrilled to partner with Scripps Sports and provide free Coyotes games to our fans,” said Coyotes Owner, Chairman & Governor Alex Meruelo. “This is a major win for us to be able to increase our reach and continue to grow the great game of hockey in the desert. We are committed to winning, committed to the Valley, and committed to doing what’s best for our incredibly loyal and passionate fanbase.”
Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Guitierrez said the team will work with Scripps to provide a direct-to-consumer streaming option, with details to come at a later time.
Scripps also plans to co-produce a monthly 30-minutes “Club Insider” show with the Coyotes that showcases the team and players. It will air on KASW in Phoenix and KWBA in Tucson.