Utah Jazz: Miller Group Sells KJZZ-TV


KJZZ-TV, the longtime former broadcast home of the Utah Jazz, has been sold by the Miller Group.

A piece of Utah Jazz history is about to receive new ownership. KJZZ-TV, which was once the intermountain region’s outlet for Jazz basketball on television, has been sold by the Miller Group.

According to Scott D. Pierce of The Salt Lake Tribune, Larry H. Miller Communications has reached an agreement to sell the network and eight translators carrying its signal for $6.5 million to Sinclair Broadcasting, the parent company of Utah’s CBS affiliate, KUTV. The deal has already been submitted to the FCC for approval.

KUTV previously partnered with the station in a management role from 2005-2010. It has since been operated by Bonneville Communications, the parent company of NBC affiliate KSL-TV.

If you’ve lived in the greater Salt Lake City area for an extended period of time, you probably have fond memories of watching the Jazz on KJZZ. Before the rise of cable television, the network was the team’s broadcast home for more than a decade.

Late Jazz owner Larry H. Miller originally purchased the network, then known as KXIV, in February of 1993 and changed its call letters to KJZZ, apropos of both his ownership of the Jazz and the station’s status as the television source for the Jazz. Games were broadcast on the channel from 1993 until late 2009.

Even after the team’s move to Fox Sports (now ROOT Sports) Jazz specials and exhibition games were occasionally shown on the network. The station also aired college sports, including University of Utah football and Weber State football and basketball, as well as prep sports from around the state of Utah.

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The network and the Jazz broadcast team received an Emmy from the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for a special chronicling Miller’s life, which aired the day after his death and during the Jazz-New Orleans Hornets game on Feb. 21, 2009.

As a thirtysomething Jazz fan, I’ll never forget the mad rush to change the channel to KJZZ-Channel 14 on game night for Hot Rod Hundley and Ron Boone‘s call of Jazz basketball. Although the games have been on cable for some time now, the KJZZ sale undoubtedly marks the end of an era.