A bankruptcy judge voided the Phoenix Suns and Mercury’s new media rights deal with Gray Television, Inc. and DTC service Kiswe, CNBC reported Wednesday afternoon.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Suns announced a deal with Gray and Kiswe to reach a wider audience within Arizona. Phoenix said its contract with Diamond Sports Group, home to Bally Sports Arizona, which also airs Arizona Diamondbacks and Coyotes games, was expected to reach 2.8 million homes in a new agreement.
Momentarily, that has been voided.
Judge Christopher Lopez provided the following ruling, according to Front Office Sports.
“The Suns shall continue to perform and comply with their obligations under the agreement [with Diamond Sports] in all respects.”
Diamond, which filed for bankruptcy in March, stepped in for a lawsuit against the Suns after their media deal was announced.
Diamond Sports Group filed an emergency motion for stay. The group argued, according to CNBC’s Lillian Rizzo, the Suns and Mercury did not uphold a contract negotiation in which Diamond has “the right of first refusal” and an appraisal process “to see which media rights deal held the better valuation.”
Suns and Mercury CEO Josh Bartelstein was reported to have provided the following statement to Front Office Sports:
“The Phoenix Suns and Mercury are excited to continue giving our fans everything they want for the best possible experience and making our games accessible to everyone,” Bartelstein said. “We are committed to working collaboratively on a fair resolution that will be in the best interest of our fans, our community, and our players.”
Gray Television, Inc. is home to CBS5 and 3TV.
Kiswe, a direct-to-consumer option, also would have helped the Suns and Mercury reach a younger audience.
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