Customers of Dish Network will have to search elsewhere to watch Pittsburgh Penguins games this season as the network has cut the regional sports networks of AT&T Sportnet and Root Sports. This includes the channels of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, and ROOT Sports Northwest.
That means no locally broadcast Penguins games on Dish. Or in the Hopper. If you have FuboTV or DirectTV, do not fret as the networks will still be available there.
Pirates fans may welcome the respite, but Penguins fans are just gearing up for the season. Pirates fans were reportedly surprised in the middle of the Buccos blowout loss on Thurday night when the game was replaced in the middle of an inning with a “not available” message.
This dropping of networks continues the trend of Dish Network axing regional sports broadcasts. In the past two years, the TV provider has dropped regional sports networks from both Fox Sports and NBC Sports.
“The current RSN (regional sports network) model is fundamentally broken. This model requires nearly all customers to pay for RSNs when only a small percentage of customers actually watch them. AT&T and Root Sports continued demanding rates that are unreasonable to pass on to our consumers,” said Brian Neylon, group president of DishTV per a release first published on Streamable.com.
Two weeks ago, the NHL announced its national broadcast schedule with the Pittsburgh Penguins appearing in 13 national games including their season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 13.
With ESPN now airing NHL games, and the state of television continuing to change, Penguins fans will have to bounce around this season to watch the team. EPSN, ABC, TNT, ESPN+, HULU, and of course AT&T Sportsnet are all scheduled to air Penguins games this season.