Phoenix Suns’ owner Mat Ishbia is ditching cable television in lieu of broadcasting games on local channels, and he’s giving away free TV antennas to ensure fans don’t miss out on the games.
After walking away from negotiating a TV rights deal with Bally Sports, the Phoenix Suns partnered with broadcaster owner Gray Television. As a result, local Arizona channels will air the 70 regional regular season games that are not broadcasted nationally, in addition to five preseason games. The Suns also partnered with the Kiswe platform to add streaming options to offer additional ways to watch.
Ishbia said this move could triple audience availability to at least 2.8 million households, according to ESPN, which he says will be a better decision in the long term to draw in more fans.
The dead deal with Bally Sports would have guaranteed tens of millions in revenue but stood on shaky ground as Bally’s parent company, Diamond Sports Group, filed for bankruptcy in March. The group has also missed payments to leading Major League Baseball teams, including the Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins, and Cleveland Guardians.
While the antenna giveaway is a bit of a publicity stunt, the move highlights one way cord cutters can save money and find alternative programming after walking away from cable. There are a number of channels available on public airwaves, with consumers using free streaming services to bolster their lineup.
“We’re not focusing on money. We’re focusing on winning, success, and taking care of fans, taking care of the community,” Ishbia said at the time, according to ESPN. “What happens is you always end up making money. It always works out. We’re going to have more fans than ever before.”
Fill out the request form on the Phoenix Suns’ website for your free antenna. Games will be broadcast locally on Arizona’s Family 3TV (KTVK in Phoenix), Arizona Family Sports (KPHE in Phoenix, KAZF in Flagstaff, KAZS in Yuma), and Suns Live on Kiswe. Twelve nationally broadcasted games will air on TNT, ABC, and ESPN. Tune in on October 28 at 7:00 p.m. to watch the Phoenix Suns face off against the Utah Jazz.
See the entire 2023-2024 season schedule below.