Bally Sports Arizona asks out of agreement to broadcast Coyotes games

Oct 4, 2023, 9:08 PM | Updated: 9:39 pm

Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, center, celebrates after his goal against the Vegas Gold...

Arizona Coyotes right wing Clayton Keller, center, celebrates after his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with Coyotes center Barrett Hayton (29) and defenseman Juuso Valimaki (4) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Less than a week before the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, Diamond Sports Group, the bankrupt operator of Bally Sports Arizona, wants out of its contract to broadcast Arizona Coyotes games.

On Wednesday, Diamond Sports requested in the Southern Texas Bankruptcy Court that its current television contract with the Coyotes be rejected.

Per the court filing: “The Debtors have determined, in their business judgment, that the Coyotes Agreement no longer fits within the Debtors’ long-term plans and should be rejected.”

The filing also states: “The Debtors have discussed the relief requested in this Motion with the Coyotes, and the parties have mutually agreed on this course of action.”

Both sides are awaiting the court’s approval.

The Coyotes were the lone Valley pro sports team still affiliated with Bally Sports Arizona. The Suns, Mercury and Diamondbacks all cut ties with Bally Sports Arizona earlier this year.

Now the Coyotes need a new TV broadcast partner — and fast.

The NHL season begins Oct. 11. Arizona is scheduled to begin its 82-game season on Oct. 13 at the New Jersey Devils.

In July, the Coyotes issued a statement after the Diamondbacks abruptly split with Bally Sports Arizona.

The statement read: “We are fully aware of the developments regarding Bally Sports Arizona. 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.”

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