Not all Spring Training games are televised for fans to enjoy before the 162-game marathon begins, but the Pittsburgh Pirates output one of the most active spring broadcast calendars.
Baseball America’s JJ Cooper researched the broadcasting schedule for all 30 teams and found the Pirates rank seventh in terms of overall broadcasts, with 18 Pirates games available for Bucco fans to watch.
Official broadcasts by the team include the local network (AT&T SportsNet) and MLB.com along with any national TV game. A Pirates game against the Minnesota Twins and broadcasted by the Twins crew and announcers do not count as a Pirates production in the study.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (30) lead all clubs while the Chicago Clubs (29), Boston Red Sox (27), LA Angels (26), and San Diego Padres (20) round out the top five.
The Cubs lead all NL Central teams with the Pirates in second - while the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals (14) sit middle of the pack. The Cincinnati Reds tie for 25th in baseball with seven telecasts.
The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles will only broadcast four games this spring, 26 fewer than the Dodgers. The Major League average for spring broadcasts is 13 games.
Enjoy access to regional sports networks while you can. According to the Wall Street Journal, Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. wants out of the business. The AT&T SportsNet channels cover the Pirates, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners while also housing the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pirates owner Bob Nutting told reporters last month he does not see “any chance” that the broadcasts will be lost. This nationwide issue affecting numerous regional networks could soon be replaced by pay-per-view type services. Multiple reports have indicated that March 31 seems set as a negotiating deadline for Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. with the Pirates and Penguins.
MSG Networks in New York is jumping out ahead of the pack to launch its own streaming service with multiple packages available. Increased uncertainty in the future of AT&T SportsNet leaves questions lacking answers as Opening Day approaches.