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Suns, Mercury cut cable TV deal to focus on streaming, OTA viewership

Phoenix’s basketball franchises are changing the media landscape.

Phoenix Suns Introduce Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is introduced to the Phoenix Suns during a press conference on February 16, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury have gotten out of their cable TV rights deal starting with the 2023-24 season, which means Bally Sports Arizona will no longer carry Suns or Mercury games. Bally Sports Arizona has been providing coverage of the Suns and Mercury since 2003 but the contract expired. Diamond Sports Group, the parent company for Bally Sports Arizona, filed for bankruptcy in March and puts the entire Bally Sports regional network framework at risk.

The Suns and Mercury will now be streaming games on Kiswe, while also airing them on local television stations in across the Arizona media market. While this will impact the team in the short term financially, owner Mat Ishbia was confident in the decision.

“We’re not focusing on money. We’re focusing on winning, success and taking care of fans, taking care of the community,” Ishbia told ESPN. “What happens is you always end up making money. It always works out.

According to the team, the move will put games in 2.8 million households as opposed to just 800,000.