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AT&T SportsNet Ending Broadcast Rights Deal with Pirates, Others



The Pittsburgh Pirates’ partnership with A&T SportsNet Pittsburgh is coming to an end.

Warner Bros. Discovery, the owner of AT&T SportsNet, has informed teams it will cease participating in the regional sports network business, according to reports by Sports Business Journal and the Wall Street Journal on Friday night.

The Pirates and AT&T SportsNet are entering the fourth season of a 10-year contract.

WBD has informed teams, including the Pirates, that they have until March 31 to reach an agreement on their broadcast rights. If no deal is struck, WBD plans to liquidate through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

WBD has also told teams they can retake those rates for no purchase price, contingent on relinquishing civil claims against the networks.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters last week the league would take over in-market broadcasts, if necessary, from the Diamond-operated networks. Diamond is another media company threatening to file for bankruptcy.


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That stance by MLB would presumably hold true for the three teams – the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros are the others – whose rights are held by WBD.

AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh is scheduled to carry 18 of the Pirates’ Grapefruit League games during spring training. That includes Saturday afternoon’s opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in Bradenton, Fla.

The Pirates open the regular season on March 30 when they visit the Cincinnati Reds.

John Perrotto is a columnist for Pittsburgh Baseball Now and has covered the Pittsburgh Pirates and MLB since 1988.

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