By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

The NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights today announced a new multi-year agreement with Scripps Sports to broadcast all Golden Knights non-national games for free to residents of Nevada and surrounding states in the team’s TV territory, starting with the 2023-24 season.

The deal, which has been approved by the National Hockey League, calls for the games to be distributed on cable, satellite and local over-the-air channels in the team’s territory.

The companies say Scripps will air Golden Knights games on its local Las Vegas station KMCC-TV, which is currently airing programming from ION. Scripps’ national network. ION, will continue to be available in Nevada over-the-air, on pay TV and on connected TV platforms through a move to another Las Vegas broadcast channel.

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The Golden Knights-Scripps deal is another blow to the regional sports network industry. The Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury announced last week that they have signed a deal with Gray Television to broadcast their games for free over local channels in the Phoenix TV territory. Diamond Sports, which previously held the regional TV rights to the Suns games, this week filed suit against the Suns, alleging the team ignored its contractual right to match any future offer for the rights.

However, the Golden Knights-Scripps deal is somewhat different than the Diamond-Phoenix dispute because Warner Bros. Discovery, which previously held the regional TV rights to the Golden Knights games, is actively seeking to exit the RSN business.

“This deal is a significant win for our fans because they will be able to see our games on television and for free, if they wish,” Golden Knights team president and CEO Kerry Bubolz said in a statement. “That was our goal in finding a new TV partner. We wanted to serve our fanbase in the best way possible.”

Today’s press release said broadcasts will include pregame and postgame coverage for every game, with additional distribution into Idaho (Boise, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls), Montana (BillingsButteBozemanGlendiveGreat FallsHelena and Missoula), Nevada (Reno)Utah (Salt Lake City) and Wyoming (CasperRiverton and Cheyenne-Scottsbluff).

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— Phillip Swann