Station makes first-of-its-kind sports deal

Salt Lake City TV station won't broadcast any games over the air

Zuma Press/TNS

Vancouver Whitecaps’s Alphonso Davies (left) vies with Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad during their Major League Soccer match in Vancouver, Canada, last year. NBC affiliate TV station KSL is securing the local rights to livestream Real Salt Lake games to viewers in the Salt Lake City area, a deal that is the first of its kind.
Zuma Press/TNS Vancouver Whitecaps’s Alphonso Davies (left) vies with Real Salt Lake’s Justen Glad during their Major League Soccer match in Vancouver, Canada, last year. NBC affiliate TV station KSL is securing the local rights to livestream Real Salt Lake games to viewers in the Salt Lake City area, a deal that is the first of its kind.

In a first-of-its-kind deal, a Salt Lake City television station will livestream a professional sports team’s games without also carrying them over the air.

KSL, an NBC affiliate, is charging into the digital future by securing the local rights to livestream the games of Major League Soccer franchise Real Salt Lake to viewers in the Salt Lake City area. The deal announced Tuesday is the first such agreement between a U.S. local TV station and a pro sports team.

The agreement reflects how viewers — who increasingly have made a habit of watching shows and live sporting events on their digital devices — are changing the way broadcasters are looking at their business.

And it could pave the way for other local broadcasters to strike similar deals.

Real Salt Lake already has an over-the-air TV outlet. Its games are shown on Sinclair Broadcasting’s KYMU. But KSL — owned by Bonneville International Corp., which itself is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — pursued the streaming rights separately as it looks for local content to reach audiences who have migrated to digital devices.

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