By ALAN SNEL
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley called it last month — a cable TV deal would be struck between Cox Communications and AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain to show Vegas Golden Knights games in Las Vegas before the season started.
Cox and AT&T SportsNet took broadcast negotiations right down to the wire Friday, but cut a deal just hours before the Golden Knights’ first game in franchise history for Cox to show Golden Knights games on local cable TV.
The Cox-AT&T SportsNet RM agreement takes effect immediately and will allow the live broadcast of the Golden Knights’ inaugural season’s first game at 5:30 p.m. in about a half-hour.
All Cox customers in Southern Nevada can watch the first-ever regular season game on Cox Channel 96 and Cox Channel 1096 in HD.
Starting tomorrow, the permanent home for AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain will be Cox Channel 313 and 1313 in HD available on the TV Essential cable package.
Foley told LVSportsBiz.com Sept. 18 that he believed a Cox-AT&T SportsNet deal would be done. Team President Kerry Bubolz said it’s common for local cable providers to make deals with broadcast rights holders right before the season starts.
Cox and AT&T SportsNet (previously Root Sports) took negotiations right to the end on the very day that the Golden Knights were inaugurating their first season with a game against the Dallas Stars in Texas.
Fans welcomed the news.
“I’m looking forward to being able watch the VGK from my home, hopefully tonight. If not tonight, in the very near future,” Golden Knights fan Steve Kaiser said.
Kaiser said, “The deal with AT&T Sportsnet struck several months ago should have had a stipulation that if a deal with Cox could not be reached at least a certain number of days prior to the start of the season, that initial deal with ATT could be voided.
“Cox is the dominant force in Las Vegas cable and should have always been the team’s priority. No matter how this agreement was finally reached, and thankfully it was, this last minute deal should be just the first step in the VGK’s making up for putting the home town fans in this situation,” Kaiser said.
AT&T Sports Net is a corporate sibling of DirecTV, which is also broadcasting Golden Knights hockey and is a rival of Cox Communications. CenturyLink is also carrying the VGK broadcasts.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com