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Utah's NHL hockey team has games on channel 16 via wireless TV | News, sports, jobs

Utah's NHL hockey team has games on channel 16 via wireless TV |  News, sports, jobs


Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

Arizona Coyotes right wing Dylan Guenther, right, celebrates his goal against the Edmonton Oilers with Clayton Keller (9) and Sean Durzi (50) in a game on April 17, 2024 in Tempe, Ariz.

Utah's new top-level professional hockey team doesn't have a name yet, but fans can rest assured that the team's TV situation is already taken care of.

The NHL team, formerly known as the Arizona Coyotes, will retain its existing TV contract, league commissioner Gary Bettman said during the welcome-to-Utah press conference last week. That TV deal is with Scripps Sports, which already aired Coyotes games on KUPX channel 16 in Utah, while being excluded from doing so by other programs.

The Coyotes signed a four-year contract with Scripps ahead of the 2023-2024 season The Arizona Republicbecoming the second NHL team to broadcast games over the air, as opposed to regional cable networks that have become the norm in professional sports media over the past two decades.

The NHL Team Playing on Utah 16 is an over-the-air TV show that aligns with Ryan and Ashley Smith's other major professional sports through Smith Entertainment Group, the NBA's Utah Jazz, which started games this season to be broadcast on KJZZ 14.

The same Scripps station in Arizona will continue to broadcast games for the former Coyotes. When ownership changed hands, Utah's team looks more like a relocated franchise than an expansion; Utah will acquire existing Coyotes players and their contracts. Hockey fans in Arizona were excited about several young players on the roster this season.

As for choosing a name, Ryan Smith says fans will be involved.

Smith will use his former research firm Qualtrics and design firm Doubleday & Cartwright to narrow down eight names to the final pick: reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

Details on how fans can participate in that process will be announced Wednesday at a fan event at the Delta Center. As of 4 p.m., the team has advertised free food and live music for fans to welcome the players to Utah, as well as coach Andr Tourigny and general manager Bill Armstrong, who will remain in their positions, according to the Tribune.

Utah's team won't be called the Coyotes; upon his sale of the team to the Smiths, Alex Meruelo retained the rights to the Coyotes brand. As part of that transaction, the NHL promised Meruelo an expansion team if he was able to build a hoped-for new stadium.


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