Root Sports Pittsburgh

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Root Sports Pittsburgh
Root sports logo.png
Launched April 13, 1986 (as KBL)
Network Fox Sports Networks
Owned by DirecTV Sports Networks
(DirecTV, LLC)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Pittsburgh and all of Western, Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania, all of West Virginia except the eastern panhandle counties (metro D.C.), eastern and southeastern Ohio, western Maryland and the extreme eastern counties of Kentucky (see Armstrong Group Cable)
National (via satellite)
Headquarters Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Formerly called KBL Entertainment Network (1986–1994)
Prime Sports KBL (1994–1996)
Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (1996–2004)
FSN Pittsburgh (2004–2011)
DirecTV 659 (SD/HD)
Dish Network 428 (SD+HD for selected programming)
Available on select cable systems Check local listings for channels
Comcast 843 (HD)
Verizon FiOS 76 (SD), 576 (HD)

Root Sports Pittsburgh is an American regional sports network serving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that is part of Root Sports and is an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. The channel is owned by DirecTV Sports Networks. The channel holds the regional cable television rights to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins. The network reaches more than 2.4 million viewers in six states and delivers more than 350 live events each year – all of which are also available in high definition.


The channel first launched on April 13, 1986 as Pirates Cable Network, exclusively serving the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, with the first sports event telecast being a Mike Lange-announced Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs from Three Rivers Stadium; it then went off the air until continuous broadcasting commenced on April 24, 1986 with its first regular broadcast being a Pirates game against the New York Mets from Three Rivers. At this point, the channel's name was changed to KBL in order to allow other sports to be included.[1] It was initially owned by TCI (now part of Comcast), then the Pittsburgh market's largest cable television provider. On May 9, 1986, KBL expanded close to its present day six-state broadcast area.

During TCI ownership, while KBL showed primarily sports-related programming, the station also served as a general entertainment channel, essentially filling the void left after independent station WPGH-TV (channel 53) became a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company around the time KBL debuted. It aired children's programming for part of the day, including reruns of the John Candy series Camp Candy.[1]

TCI sold the channel in 1994 to Prime Network, who immediately dropped all the non-sports related programming and made KBL an affiliate of Prime SportsChannel America when Prime and SportsChannel America merged. In 1995, Prime Network's retail subsidiary, Prime Sports Merchandising, purchased some sports apparel stores located inside shopping malls and rebranded them as Prime Sports Shops, promoting them on its networks including KBL.[2] In 1996, News Corporation bought out Prime SportsChannel and rebranded KBL to Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh, with the retail stores keeping the Prime Sports name for many years after the Fox Sports rebranding of the parent networks.

In 2006, News Corporation transferred FSN Pittsburgh to Liberty Media, the former parent of Prime Network, in a stock swap between the two companies of the DirecTV stock.[citation needed] On May 4, 2009, The DirecTV Group Inc. announced it would become a part of Liberty's entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off as a separate company called DirecTV, which would own FSN Pittsburgh.[3]

In December 2010, the name "Root Sports" was chosen for three DirecTV Sports Networks, including FSN Pittsburgh.[4] The rebranding was launched on April 1, 2011 with the start of the 2011 Major League Baseball season. On April 27, 2011, Root Sports Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Penguins reached a 20-year contract extension that lasts until the end of the 2028-2029 NHL season.[5]


Root Sports technicians during a November 19, 2011 game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers.



High School[edit]

  • WPIAL High School Football

Regions served[edit]


Root Sports Pittsburgh serves nearly all of Pennsylvania outside of the Philadelphia market, all of West Virginia (as of August 2013), western Maryland, eastern and southeastern Ohio, southwestern border areas of New York state, as well as Ashland, Kentucky.


National programming[edit]

  • The Dan Patrick Show
  • Bellator Fighting Championships
  • Final Score
  • Top Rank Boxing
  • Sports Science
  • UEFA Champions League Soccer
  • Barclays Premier League Soccer
  • Oscar DeLa Hoya’s Fight Night Club
  • Million Dollar Challenge
  • World Team Poker
  • World Poker Tour: Seasons 1, 7 & 8
  • XTERRA Eco Adventures
  • Jay Glazer’s Training Camp Party
  • The After Party with Jay Glazer
  • Profiles
  • Baseball’s Golden Age
  • Women’s Professional Soccer
  • Red Bull Air Race World Championships
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Men's College Basketball - Sunday nights
  • Big 12 College Football
  • Pac-12 College Football
  • Pac-10 Men's College Basketball - Thursdays, Saturdays, Sunday nights, and Pac-10 Conference Tournament
  • Women's College Basketball from the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC

Exclusive programming[edit]

  • Pittsburgh Pirates live broadcasts - Over 150 Regular Season Games
    • Pregame and Postgame shows
    • Pirates Instant Replay - replayed broadcasts
    • Inside Pirates Baseball
    • Spring Training Games
  • Pittsburgh Penguins live broadcasts
    • Pregame and Postgame shows
    • Penguins Rewind - replayed broadcasts
    • Penguins Instant Replay - replayed broadcasts
    • Inside Penguins Hockey
    • Stanley Cup Playoffs - Live Coverage
  • High School Sports
    • McDonald’s High School Football - Thursday and Friday night live broadcasts
    • WPIAL Football Championships
    • Trib Total Media High School Edition


Pittsburgh Penguins[edit]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

Wpial High School Football[edit]


Former personalities[edit]


External links[edit]