Judge Halts Phoenix Suns' Plans to Move Forward with New TV, Streaming Rights Deal
The Phoenix Suns recently announced their new partnership with Gray Television and video streaming company Kiswe for the upcoming broadcast of their games. However, U.S. bankruptcy judge Christopher Lopez struck down these plans, ruling that the NBA team had violated the rights of their current broadcaster, the bankrupt Diamond Sports Group. According to Lopez, U.S. bankruptcy law protects debtors from having their contracts modified or terminated without their consent and the Suns' new deal interfered with Diamond Sports' right to negotiate contract extension.
“The Suns are saying one thing outside the court and another thing inside it,” said Lopez in regards to the Phoenix Suns' media blitz touting the new contract. No monetary damages were awarded in court, though this could still be considered at a later hearing.
Diamond Sports currently broadcasts games for many major sports leagues including the NBA, MLB, and NHL. It is unclear what will happen with the Phoenix Suns' broadcasting rights in the future but Lopez's ruling is keeping the team from moving ahead with their announced TV and streaming partnership.