Arizona’s Family announces transformative broadcast partnership with Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury

Pat LaPlatney (left), President and Co-CEO of Gray Television (parent company of Arizona's...

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Today, Arizona’s Family, in partnership with the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, announced a transformative media rights deal to bring viewers every locally-aired game for free in a nationwide distribution model that includes Arizona’s Family television networks, KTVK (3TV) and the new launched, uses KPHE (Arizona’s Family Sports & Entertainment Network).

Following KPHE’s expansion into the Tucson and Yuma markets over the next few weeks, the new media rights deal will make the Suns and Mercury games available to nearly 2.8 million homes across all three of Arizona’s media markets, and triple the teams’ reach to fans who don’t were able to access the games through the previous distribution agreement with a non-broadcast regional sports network.

“Live sports can bring a community together. When you combine that with the power of broadcast television and Arizona’s Family, it becomes a multiplier effect that benefits the team, fans and customers,” said Debbie Bush, vice president and general manager of Arizona’s Family. “Our goal since day one has been to create a model that gives all fans the opportunity to connect and cheer on their favorite teams through the distribution method of their choice. We are confident that this model will increase fan loyalty and engagement.”

All non-national Suns and Mercury exclusive games will be carried between the two stations. KTVK will air a total of 13 Mercury regular season games and all available postseason games, with the remaining regular season games being aired on KPHE. The Suns will broadcast at least 70 games each season, with at least 40 regular-season games broadcast on KTVK and the remainder on KPHE.

“We are thrilled that this partnership will unite our loyal viewer family with the Phoenix Suns and Mercury,” said Pat LaPlatney, President and Co-CEO of Gray Television, the Arizona family’s parent company. “In a very short window, Mat Ishbia has begun building a world-class organization on and off the pitch. And with today’s announcement, Mat has delivered on its promise to focus on the community and put their fans first. We are very excited to contribute to this with our stations in Phoenix, Tucson and finally Yuma.”

Pat LaPlatney (left), President and Co-CEO of Gray Television (parent company of Arizona's...
Pat LaPlatney (left), President and Co-CEO of Gray Television (parent company of Arizona’s Family) alongside Mat Ishbia (right), owner of Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.(az family)

Fans can also watch games via a direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming option alongside the Kiswe-powered over-the-air broadcast product. Subscribers can access DTC streaming via a Suns or Mercury branded app on their smartphones or smart TVs. The Phoenix Mercury season 2023 will stream DTC for free.

“We are excited to partner with Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Gray Television on this groundbreaking new direct-to-fan distribution model,” said Glenn Booth, CEO of Kiswe. “Kiswe’s goal is to bring live sports to all fans through immersive digital experiences, and we can’t wait to stream games for all Arizona basketball fans who want to see these legendary teams.”

The first Phoenix Mercury game will be broadcast live on KTVK and simulcast on KPHE on Thursday, May 25 at 7:00 p.m. when the Mercury competes against the Minnesota Lynx.

The agreement is subject to NBA and WNBA approval and required resolution with the officiating regional sports partner. The agreement is subject to various industry standard terms and conditions that the parties have not disclosed. Lee H. Berke, President and CEO of LHB Sports, Entertainment & Media, Inc., has advised Arizona’s family and Kiswe on the development of the Suns/Mercury agreement announced today.

About Arizona’s family | Arizona’s Family is the premier destination for news and information in the Phoenix area, serving nearly seven million people who call the valley home. 3TV’s hyper-local, independent spirit, backed by the investigative power of CBS 5, Arizona’s Family, delivers more original content, breaking stories and in-depth coverage of issues that matter most to the people of Arizona. All on the platform of your choice: on-air, online, social media and streaming TV devices.

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