DirecTV Sports Networks

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DIRECTV Sports Networks (formerly Liberty Sports Holdings) is a unit of DIRECTV which consists of four regional sports networks: Root Sports Pittsburgh, Root Sports Rocky Mountain, Root Sports Northwest and Root Sports Utah. The group was formed in 2008 when Liberty Media completed its purchase of four networks from News Corporation as a result of a stock swap for NewsCorp's stake in DIRECTV.

On May 4, 2009, DIRECTV Group Inc. said it would become a part of Liberty's entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off as a separate company called DIRECTV a satellite television provider. Liberty would increase its share of DIRECTV from 48 to 54 percent, with Malone and his family owning 24 percent. The resulting company would own the Game Show Network, FUN Technologies and three regional sports networks that had been part of Liberty. The Dan Patrick radio and TV shows were acquired by DIRECTV and became part of The DIRECTV Sports Networks in October 2009.[1]

It was split off from Liberty Media and renamed DIRECTV Sports Networks on November 19, 2009.[2]

In 2010, Liberty Media owner John Malone exchanged his Class B shares in DIRECTV (a 23% voting interest in the company) for an equivalent amount of Class A common shares, thus ending Malone's management role at the company.[3]

On April 1, 2011, the four FSN affiliates owned by DIRECTV re-branded under the new name Root Sports. The timing of the change coincided with the opening weekend of the Major League Baseball season, as the Root Sports channels have broadcasting deals with their region's MLB teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and Colorado Rockies. [4]

A reorganization plan backed by the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets filed on August 6, 2014 proposes that ownership of the bankrupt channel Comcast SportsNet Houston would be transferred to a partnership of AT&T and DirecTV Sports Networks, with AT&T owning 40% and DirecTV owning 60%. If approved, this would make CSN Houston a sister network to the Root Sports networks and would likely result in the network's addition to AT&T U-verse and DirecTV. If approved, the station will be renamed Root Sports Houston.


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