Phoenix Suns fans might have to wait a little longer to watch games live in Arizona outside of Bally Sports, after a judge put the brakes on a new OTA and streaming deal that was contested by Diamond Sports Group.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, the Phoenix Suns (and Mercury) struck a deal with Gray Television. The deal included the rights to 100% of locally broadcast games. For those more invested in streaming, the interesting component of the agreement was the confirmation that a direct-to-consumer streaming solution was also in the works.
At the time, Diamond Sports Group wasn’t too happy with the Suns agreement and threatened to do what it could to block its attempt to move away from Bally Sports Arizona. This is in spite of Diamond Sports Group having already filed for bankruptcy.
Yesterday, a judge ruled that the Suns had violated the stay order of the bankruptcy code. According to a court document provided by AZCentral, the ruling states that the existing terms of the agreement between the Suns and Diamond Sports Group must continue to be honored.
Basically, once Diamond Sports Group entered Bankruptcy, and was given the various protections afforded by chapter 11, a stay order was placed on all of its deals and agreements. This included a stay on the agreement with the Suns, and it is this stay that has now been successfully used to block the move.
For what it’s worth, the deal with Diamond Sports Group was for the 2022-2023 season and came to an end at the conclusion of the season.
This, in itself, is what the Suns argue is the logic and basis of why it was legally free to strike a new deal. This doesn’t seem to have been a point lost on the judge either. As noted by CNBC, much of the basis for the ruling appears to be the judge’s view that Suns moved too quickly in agreeing and announcing the deal.
According to the ruling, the Phoenix Suns will need to come to a fair agreement with Diamond Sports Group that suits both parties.