Coyotes’ Xavier Gutierrez says team performance contributed to new TV agreement

Nov 16, 2023, 7:17 PM | Updated: 7:44 pm

Jason Zucker...

Jason Zucker #16 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates a goal with Nick Schmaltz #8, and Barrett Hayton #29 during the first period at Mullett Arena on October 21, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)

(Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes and Scripps Sports reached an agreement that allows more households to find the games on channel 61, DirecTV 61 and Cox channel 95.

Team president and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said the Coyotes’ early-season performance and the reaction of the market contributed to the timing of a deal that was not expected to get done until next year.

Arizona started the campaign 8-6-2 and 4-2 at Mullett Arena with a young corps and free agent veteran signings under head coach Andre Tourigny.

“Scripps saw that and said,  ‘We have to accelerate this, what can we do,’ and they did some things in terms of their negotiations with their CW affiliates and with the CW Network that allowed for this change to happen a year earlier than what we had initially planned for it to be,” Gutierrez told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Thursday.

“We have gotten initial numbers in terms of the ratings in terms of the household reach, and it has been incredibly positive. I think that really set the tone to say, ‘Hey, how do we make this happen sooner?’ That way we can start marketing, we can promote it, we can have the permanent channel placement that we want and we can serve this market and show that this truly is a hockey town.”

Coyotes games aired on Bally Sports Arizona, but the team announced a new deal with Scripps Sports before this season. The games aired on a secondary over-the-air broadcast channel, 15.2, and the Antenna TV network.

“This is exciting, this is at the forefront of what we’re seeing in terms of being over the air, being free, creating reach,” Gutierrez said. “When you take Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, which that’s now our footprint, we’ll be in over three million homes. That’s just a very exciting place to be.”

The team is also starting a monthly Coyotes Insider show.

Gutierrez said part of the deal was launching a production company, so there have been a lot of moving parts in not so much time.

The organization is now working on what comes next in terms of streaming options for the games.

The Coyotes will start airing on their new channels Monday.

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