Utah Jazz unveil details of new streaming service
As cord cutting increases, the Utah Jazz is making it easier for everyone to catch the action.
On Wednesday the Utah Jazz officially launched Jazz+, a new direct-to-consumer streaming service offering live games and exclusive content. It’s available to anyone in Utah and people within 150 miles of Salt Lake City, including parts of Wyoming and Idaho.
Games can be watched on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and a variety of streaming apps including Apple TV and Roku. There will also be a Spanish broadcast available for every game.
An annual streaming package costs $125. If purchased by Oct. 24, people will also receive two upper bowl tickets to a home game, along with a t-shirt and hat. There is also a monthly option for $15.
And for those with cable or an antenna, games will now be available on the local TV station KJZZ, except for when games air on national networks like ESPN.
Former Fox 13 general manager Tim Ermish said the Jazz’s decision comes as cable TV subscriptions are dwindling and regional sports broadcasters are struggling financially.
“As recently as a few months ago, Diamond Sports, which was a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcasting, which has rights to many professional teams, could not make their payments anymore and were defaulting, so they went into bankruptcy,” Ermish said. “So now the teams are kind of forced by necessity to take these rights, these broadcast and cable rights and streaming rights, back in house.”
Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith talked about the new plan at Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm Tech Conference in Park City this summer. He said the traditional broadcast model wasn’t reaching enough fans.
“We’re trying to all grow the NBA and we’re trying to grow in our market, and so if we’ve got 3.2 million people in Utah, we’re showing a million people the games, and working so hard to get players and coaches and everything to line up a good product on the court, and then we deliver it like that. That’s a horrible experience," Smith said. "And so what we’ve done is said, ‘Hey, what if we just opened it up? What if we made sure, even if you had rabbit ears, it was on every TV in Utah?’”
Ermish endorsed the Jazz’s new set up.
“Long term, I think this is a real win for the Jazz, clearly a win for the community and the fans,” Ermish said. “Maybe they don’t make as much money, but this is a long-term win.”
The Jazz will open their season at home Oct. 25 against the Sacramento Kings.