On Tuesday, the Thunder announced a deal with Griffin Media to broadcast eight games.
Clear your Friday night calendars, Thunder fans.
All of Oklahoma City’s remaining Friday games this season will be broadcast free on TV.
On Tuesday, the Thunder announced a deal with Griffin Media to broadcast the eight remaining Friday games over the air on KSBI Channel 52 in Oklahoma City and News On 6 Now Channel 6.3 in Tulsa.
Thunder Friday Night will start with the Jan. 26 game at New Orleans.
The deal came about because the NBA and Diamond Sports Group, which owns Bally Sports, reached an agreement earlier this season allowing teams to partner with local broadcasters for a limited number of over-the-air games. Diamond Sports is going through bankruptcy, so it allowed teams covered by its networks to move 10 games to local channels.
“This is a tremendous opportunity from the NBA and Bally Sports that allows us to increase our fans’ ability to watch Friday games free and over the air this season,” Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney said in a statement. “How and where games are shown next season and beyond remains uncertain, but for now we are pleased to have this chance to expand our reach.”
Bally Sports’ broadcasts have become an increasing struggle for fans. The channel is available through a small number of satellite providers and streaming services, and even though Bally Sports added a stand-alone streaming app a year ago, it has been plagued by technical glitches and difficulties.
The games on Griffin’s channels will be available a variety of ways:
- Cox Cable, Channel 7 in OKC, Channel 53 in Tulsa
- DirecTV, Channel 52
- Dish Network, Channel 52
- Other cable outlets
- HD antenna
“Griffin Media is proud to partner with the Oklahoma City Thunder to bring this incredible season of Thunder basketball to even more Oklahoma homes through our locally-owned television stations,” Griffin Media chairman and CEO David Griffin said in a statement. “Our mission is to keep Oklahomans safe, informed and entertained, and partnering with the Oklahoma City Thunder in broadcasting these Friday Night games further instills our commitment to our state and our fellow Oklahomans.”
Thunder chairman Clay Bennett said in a statement, “For 70 years, the Griffin family has been a pioneering force in our community and the television industry, and we are particularly proud to partner with a locally-owned broadcaster that brings such a deep connection and commitment to all Oklahomans. The Thunder is grateful for the loyal support we receive from our fans across Oklahoma and the region. We look forward to providing them this additional access to our game broadcasts.”
The Thunder also has reached agreements with several other stations in the region to broadcast the Friday games. Gray Television stations in Lawton, Wichita Falls, Texas, and Wichita, Kansas, and Morgan Murphy Media stations in Joplin, Missouri, and Pittsburg, Kansas, will broadcast those eight Thunder games.
The Thunder estimates all the local and regional stations it has partnered with could make the Friday games available to upwards of 2 million homes.
The Thunder Friday Night games are:
- Jan. 26 at New Orleans Pelicans, 7 p.m.
- Feb. 2 vs. Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m.
- Feb 23 vs. Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.
- March 8 vs. Miami Heat, 7 p.m.
- March 22 at Toronto Raptors, 6 p.m.
- March 29 vs. Phoenix Suns, 7 p.m.
- April 5 at Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m.
- April 12 vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 7 p.m.
None of the Friday games will be available on Bally Sports.
“Accessing these games will require our fans to adapt and make some changes in their viewing habits on those Friday nights,” Mahoney said.
To assist fans, the Thunder has established a website with complete channel details, info on accessing the Friday broadcasts, and how to connect an HD antenna and scan for the channels. Go to okcthunder.com/watchlocal
More information can also be found at news9.com/thunder and newson6.com/thunder.