The Arizona Coyotes have taken a significant step towards ensuring greater accessibility for their fans by entering into a four-year broadcasting agreement with Scripps Sports. The deal, which was announced on Thursday, will see Scripps broadcast all non-national Coyotes games to approximately 3 million people in Arizona and Utah. With this move, the Coyotes will become only the second NHL team to have their games broadcast over the air, following in the footsteps of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Under the previous regional sports model, the number of households with access to Coyotes games had been dwindling. However, this recent partnership with Scripps aims to counteract this trend, successfully serving the existing fan base while also capturing the interests of potential new fans. As the team continues to build a young and exciting roster, expanding the reach of their games becomes incredibly important.
This new agreement between the Coyotes and Scripps comes on the heels of Diamond Sports Net Arizona terminating its telecast rights deal with the Coyotes. Diamond Sports has been embroiled in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since March, with significant financial woes amounting to a staggering $8.67 billion in debt. Thus, the Coyotes have joined the ranks of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks in seeking alternative broadcasting options.
With this partnership, Coyotes games will be made available on the Antenna TV network through KNXV.2, allowing viewers to tune in via channel 15.2 with an antenna, as well as on Cox cable. The broadcasts will include comprehensive pregame and postgame coverage, ensuring that fans have a well-rounded viewing experience. The Coyotes are also actively exploring the possibility of introducing a streaming option to further enhance fan access.
The decision to collaborate with Scripps was primarily driven by the concerns of the Coyotes organization. With the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks severing ties with Bally Sports Arizona, the Coyotes found themselves as the sole team remaining under contract with the network. This precarious situation raised serious doubts about the team’s ability to ensure their games could be viewed during the upcoming season. However, this partnership with Scripps alleviates those concerns and secures a viable broadcasting solution for the Coyotes.
As the Coyotes prepare to kick off their season on October 13th against the New Jersey Devils, they do so with the confidence that their games will be widely accessible to their fans. The broadcasting agreement with Scripps Sports represents a significant milestone in the organization’s efforts to cultivate a larger and more engaged fan base. By expanding the reach of their games to millions of viewers in Arizona and Utah, the Coyotes are poised to make a lasting impact on both their local community and the wider hockey market.
Source : ESPN.com