SportsNet Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates won’t be hunting for a new media rights deal any longer. On Wednesday, the team announced it would be joining the ownership group of SportsNet Pittsburgh (formerly AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh) alongside the Pittsburgh Penguins, keeping the team’s games on the regional sports network (RSN) in 2024 and beyond.

SportsNet Pittsburgh will continue to be operated by NESN. The Fenway Sports Group owns both NESN and the Penguins. FSG acquired the RSN formerly known as AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh at the end of August.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the agreement is a “relatively short” multi-year pact, though the amount of money changing hands is still unknown. While a direct-to-consumer (DTC) offering for the Penguins has yet to launch, Pirates president Travis Williams told the Post-Gazette that both teams would “like to see it as soon as possible” and that he knows “NESN is working on that.” NESN launched a DTC service in the Boston market for the Red Sox and Bruins called NESN 360 in 2022.

The story on the Pirates’ website says that “the on-air talent fans are accustomed to will remain largely unchanged” and that “additions to the in-studio team” are possible.

For the Pirates, this is great news. The team’s media rights were in a state of flux following the shutdown of the AT&T SportsNet RSNs. While FSG acquired AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, the Astros and Rockets acquired AT&T SportsNet Southwest and rebranded it as the Space City Home Network. AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain was shut down, and while the Utah Jazz and Vegas Golden Knights landed with new media partners, the Colorado Rockies still don’t have a new home for their games.

The MLB teams still without media rights deals for the 2024 season are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins, and San Diego Padres, while several teams under the Bally Sports umbrella have unclear futures.

[Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.