The Phoenix Suns reportedly announced Friday they will broadcast games for the 2023-24 season on Arizona's Family, which has local 3TV and CBS5 stations and is owned by Gray Television, Inc. Sports Business Journal reported the Suns' previous broadcast partner Diamond Sports, which owns Bally Sports Arizona, decided not to match a deal the team reached with Gray for local television rights in April.
Here is what Phoenix owner Mat Ishbia said in a statement, according to a story from Arizona's family:
“I am excited to be able to deliver to our Suns and Mercury fans this industry-shifting partnership with Gray Television. We've had an incredible offseason, making a lot of exciting moves to build the championship-caliber Suns team our fans want. Now, this deal gives more than 2.8 million homes across Arizona access to our Suns and Mercury games for free.
“I am proud that we are at the forefront of this shift to make the game more accessible, which not only serves our fan base but also helps to build future NBA and WNBA fans.”
The Suns announced a media rights deal with Gray in April, but it had some complications in the following months. Diamond Sports said the deal was a breach of contract and filed an emergency motion for a stay to prevent the deal.
A bankruptcy judge voided the Suns' deal with Gray Television in May, allowing Diamond Sports a chance to match. However, Sports Business Journal said in its story Diamond could not match distribution coverage Gray could and that the Suns and Mercury have in-house ad-sales teams that made sales difficult to match.
The Suns' deal with local television is one that could be a trend, as they became the first team to sell all media rights to a local, over-the-air broadcast network.