The Utah Jazz will air games next season on a local, over-the-air TV station and streaming service — becoming the latest team to move away from a cable regional sports network.
All non-nationally televised Jazz games next season will air on KJZZ, a Salt Lake City-based TV station owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Jazz games previously aired on Warner Bros. Discovery’s AT&T SportsNet, a collection of RSNs that could shut down by October.
Smith Entertainment Group, the parent company of the Jazz, launched a new production company called SEG Media to lead the team’s new broadcast distribution strategy. Jazz games will also stream on the team’s new paid-subscription streaming service launching in October.
The Jazz are following the same model as the Phoenix Suns, who in April agreed to air games on local TV station Gray Television and launch a new streaming service. However, a bankruptcy judge blocked the deal because it violated the Suns’ agreement with Sinclair’s Diamond Sports Group.
Since the Jazz are working directly with a local TV station owned by Sinclair, the team is likely to avoid the same legal challenge faced by the Suns.
Sinclair’s bankrupt cable RSNs have missed payments to several team partners across sports. MLB recently took over Sinclair’s San Diego Padres distribution rights to air games locally on DirecTV, Cox, AT&T U-Verse, fuboTV, Spectrum, and MLB.TV.