History[ edit ] The channel launched on April 13, as Pirates Cable Network, exclusively serving the Pittsburgh metropolitan area ; its first sports event telecast on that date was a Major League Baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs from Three Rivers Stadiumannounced by Mike Langein which the Pirates shut out the Cubs, 8—0. The what channel is at&t pittsburgh sports on spectrum commenced full-time broadcasts on April 24, as the KBL Entertainment Network, in order to allow other sports besides the Pirates to be included on the network. Its first regular broadcast was a Pirates home game against the New York Mets. KBL quickly expanded its cable coverage. As early as May 9, ; its cable footprint roughly approximated its present six-state coverage area.
While experts say the two most logical buyers would be Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
A FOX Sports camera films from the sidelines of a baseball game. Sinclair Broadcast is set to become the largest owner of regional sports networks in the U.
The FOX networks went up for sale as a condition of the U. Federal Communications Commission to take a look at how the pending Sinclair deal could impact network carriage pricing and Sinclair's overall reach given that it would bring together the sports network portfolio with Sinclair's extensive local U.
Sinclair, which did not respond to a request for comment, expects the deal to close in the third quarter.
The potential for vertical integration of the RSNs in markets where NBC US also owns stations and Comcast is a major cable operator has informed the company's strategy, he said. NBC declined to comment.
In discussing the upside of the deal for the FOX RSNs, Sinclair said the portfolio as a whole carries an year weighted average for the expiration of rights deals, giving it a measure of cost certainty.
Private equity and big tech companies were also reported to be interested, though some were reported to have concerns about the expense of maintaining sports programming rights.
This is a company that is trying to provide a service of streaming games people like me want to watch.
Nevertheless, Berke believes there will be interest in the live programming that sports networks deliver.