The Phoenix Suns have made history by becoming the first major sports team in North America to ditch cable and broadcast their games exclusively on a streaming platform.
The Suns announced on Thursday that they have signed a 10-year deal with Amazon Prime Video to stream all of their regular season and playoff games starting from the 2023-24 season. The deal is reportedly worth more than $1 billion and will give Amazon exclusive rights to the Suns’ games in Arizona and nationally.
The move is a bold one for the Suns, who are one of the most valuable and popular teams in the NBA. The Suns are currently valued at $4 billion, making them the fourth-most valuable team in the league, according to Forbes . They also have one of the best records in the NBA this season, led by superstar Kevin Durant, who joined the team in February after a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Suns’ decision to go streaming-only is also a sign of the changing landscape of sports media, as more fans are cutting the cord and opting for online platforms to watch their favorite teams. According to a recent survey by Morning Consult, 40% of U.S. adults said they would be willing to pay for a streaming service to watch live sports, while only 28% said they would prefer cable.
The Suns are not the only team to experiment with streaming. The NFL has partnered with Amazon to stream some of its Thursday night games, while the MLB has streamed some of its games on YouTube and Facebook. However, the Suns are the first team to go all-in on streaming and abandon cable altogether.
The deal with Amazon will also give the Suns access to a global audience of more than 200 million Prime members, as well as new ways to engage with fans through interactive features and original content. The Suns said they will work with Amazon to create a “world-class viewing experience” for their fans.
“We are thrilled to partner with Amazon Prime Video to bring our fans closer to the action and provide them with more ways to watch and enjoy Suns basketball,” said Robert Sarver, the owner of the Suns, in a statement. “This is a groundbreaking deal that will transform how we deliver our games to our fans and position us as innovators in sports media.”