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Pitt Basketball

Verizon, AT&T Feud Means More Pitt Fans Will Be in the Dark for Upcoming Basketball, Football Games

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The issues between the ACC Network and Pitt fans in Western Pennsylvania that have Comcast as a cable provider have been well documented.

The cable giant and the ESPN-run network have yet to come to a carriage agreement over a year into the network’s existence, meaning that many Pitt fans have been shut out of watching the majority of Pitt’s football games this season, as well as many men’s and women’s basketball games over the 2019-20 season.

But this fall, another television dispute is going to disrupt the watching habits of another group of Pitt fans. Verizon FiOS has been in a carriage dispute with AT&T Sportsnet for nearing two months now, with the station going off the air for Verizon’s fiber-optic customers in early October.

“AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh has demanded a significant increase to an already high rate so fans can continue watching their channels,” a Verizon statement read at the time. “Additionally, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh is unwilling to provide a guarantee to fair market rates with respect to other distributors, including the ones they own.”

AT&T SportsNet most notably carries Pittsburgh Pirates baseball and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey games, but the network is also part of the ACC’s group of regional sports networks that carries games that are not picked up any of the ESPN family of networks.

For Pitt fans, that’s about to become extremely notable. Wednesday night’s men’s basketball opener against St. Francis will be broadcast on ACC RSNs, including AT&T SportsNet in Pittsburgh, and the football team’s season finale against Georgia Tech on Oct. 10 will be, as well.

Verizon customers will have little choice other that wait out the negotiations between the network and cable company, though AT&T’s cable alternatives AT&T TV and AT&T TV Now do carry the network.

For out-of-town fans, other ACC Network RSN partners that are not impacted by the dispute between AT&T and Verizon may carry the game.

RSNs for Wednesday night’s basketball game against St. Francis include AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Rocky Mountain; Fox Sports Detroit Plus, Florida, Midwest Plus, North Plus, Ohio, South, Southwest Plus, West and Wisconsin; Marquee Sports Network, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, New England Sports Network, ROOT Sports Northwest and YES Network.

The game will also be available on ESPN3 streaming for fans outside of the Pittsburgh market. RSN partners for the Dec. 10 football game have not yet been announced.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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