Coyotes still under contract with Bally Sports Arizona, will continue to evaluate options

Jul 18, 2023, 2:04 PM

Coyotes on Bally Sports Arizona...

Barrett Hayton #29 of the Arizona Coyotes talks with Bally Sports Arizona Color Analyst Tyson Nash after a 5-4 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks at Mullett Arena on April 08, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes remain under contract with Diamond Sports Group, the operator of Bally Sports Arizona, despite Tuesday’s Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court ruling regarding the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We are fully aware of the developments regarding Bally Sports Arizona,” the team said in a statement. “The Arizona Coyotes remain under contract with Bally Sports Arizona and remain hopeful that the network will continue to broadcast our games this season.

“Nonetheless, we will continue to evaluate all of our options, as needed, and will ensure that our great fans across the Valley are able to watch our games this fall. We will have no further comment until we have news to announce.”

Arizona’s statement comes after a judge ruled Tuesday in favor of Diamond Sports’ request to cease operations as the Diamondbacks’ TV partner. MLB will broadcast D-backs games for the remainder of the season.

D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke shortly after the ruling came down that he sees the move as a positive, given the team’s added reach under the MLB umbrella and enhanced production.

With the D-backs’ ruling, the Coyotes are the only team left on Bally Sports Arizona. The network did not exercise its right of first refusal to renew its deal with the Phoenix Suns, who are moving their games to local television and a streaming service.

Diamond Sports, which owns 19 regional sports networks under the Bally Sports banner, determined its contract with the Diamondbacks was not profitable. It had a large rights payment due on July 1, but both sides tried to negotiate an amended agreement.

Diamond paid the Diamondbacks on a per-game basis for any games played after July 1.

Diamond Sports has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Texas since March. The company said in a financial filing last fall that it had debt of $8.67 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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