The new Phoenix Suns and Mercury TV deal could change the way we watch sports

By Mark Brodie
Published: Friday, May 5, 2023 - 12:31pm

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The Phoenix Suns continue their Western Conference semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The Suns are down 2-0 in the best of seven series and will try to get a win as they come back home.

Looking ahead to next season, fans of the Suns and Mercury will have a different way to watch their games — and it’s kind of a blast from the past: over-the-air TV. The teams have reached a deal with Gray Television to air the games; there’ll also be a streaming option.

The deal comes as Diamond Sports Group, which owns Bally Sports, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Diamond Sports, though, has sued the Suns and Mercury, accusing them of breaching their contract with this new agreement.

All of this is happening in the context of some teams and leagues looking to move away from the regional sports network model, which includes Bally Sports, and to a more direct-to-consumer one.

The Show spoke with Mike Vorkunov, national NBA and basketball business reporter for the Athletic, on what a big deal it is that these teams are ditching their regional sports network and going back to over-the-air TV.

Headshot of Mike National NBA and Basketball Business Reporter for The Athleticorkunov
Mike Vorkunov
Mike Vorkunov

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