Utah Jazz Launch SEG Media Production Company, Become Latest Pro Sports Team To Shift From RSN Model

All games will be available on over-the-air KJZZ-TV and on new subscription streaming service

The Utah Jazz are the latest pro-sports team to shift its game broadcasts from a regional sports network, following an announcement on Tuesday by owner Ryan Smith and team parent Smith Entertainment Group. With the launch of a production company dubbed SEG Media, the team says, fans will now have “ubiquitous access” to watch all regionally televised games and other content through a combination of over-the-air TV station KJZZ-TV Salt Lake City and a paid, subscription-based streaming service, starting in the 2023-24 NBA season. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

Jazz games previously were televised on AT&T SportsNet, but recent reports indicate that Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (which acquired the RSNs from AT&T in its acquisition of WarnerMedia last year) plans to shut down the AT&T SportsNet RSNs in October.

The move comes on the heels of similar deals recently inked by the Vegas Golden Knights with Scripps Sports and the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury with Gray TV (although that deal is now in the midst of a court battle). In addition, the Los Angeles Clippers unveiled a direct-to-consumer option last fall, and Major League Baseball took over production and distribution of San Diego Padres games last month after Bally Sports, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year, failed to pay its rights fee to the team. Bally faces rights-fee payments for several other teams in the coming weeks.

Using a basic antenna connection, fans in the Jazz’s broadcast market will be able to watch all non-nationally televised Jazz games on Sinclair Broadcast Group–owned KJZZ-TV, which will become “The Home of the Utah Jazz.” Utah Jazz games will also be accessible through local cable and satellite providers carrying KJZZ-TV.

“Our top priority has always been providing the best fan experience possible,” said Smith during a press conference on Tuesday. “When we first took over stewardship of the team, 39% of Utah households had the ability to watch Jazz games. As soon as the window opened last fall for us to rethink our approach to broadcasting, we began exploring all options to provide fans the most reliable access to Jazz games. This new approach is one of the most important investments we have made since purchasing the team because it allows us to deliver Utah Jazz games to all 3.3 million–plus Utahns.”

SEG Media will produce all Utah Jazz content to be distributed on the over-the-air channel, the team’s digital platforms, and a new direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming option. It also plans to service other SEG entities and external partners.

Starting in October, a new paid Utah Jazz-branded subscription-based streaming platform will deliver every available Jazz game, as well as enhanced access to the team, front office, and corporate management via exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. Full details on the Jazz’s DTC offering will be announced in the coming months.

“Our players work too hard and are too much fun to watch for us to be OK with any fan missing the action,” Smith added. “No one has closer proximity to our team than we do, and SEG Media will help Jazz fans experience our organization in a way that has never been possible before, on more channels than ever before.

Utah Jazz TV broadcasters Craig Bolerjack, Thurl Bailey, and Holly Rowe will continue to call games, and Michael Smith and Alema Harrington will host the pre/postgame studio shows.

The Jazz have granted Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates KJZZ-TV, the right to air all available Jazz games on the station, and fans should expect significant coverage of the team from Sinclair’s CBS affiliate in the market, KUTV Salt Lake City. The Jazz will also collaborate with the KJZZ and KUTV teams to distribute Jazz-related ancillary programming, produced by SEG Media, throughout the year.

SEG and the Utah Jazz have obtained all necessary approvals from the National Basketball Association and were advised on the new direction by Endeavor/WME Sports.

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