After months of rumors and reports Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company behind AT&T SportsNet has confirmed that they intend to shut down their RSNs by the end of 2023. This was announced during its Q2 earnings call. They are reportedly working with MLB, NBA, and NHL to transfer the rights to the teams allowing them to stream the games in-market or find new partners to replace AT&T SportsNets.
So what does this mean for fans of the affected teams? This will mean that soon if not already these teams will be finding a new home to air their games. These teams include the Pittsburg Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Vegas Golden Knights, Utah Jazz, Las Vegas Aces, Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Mariners, and Seattle Kraken.
Currently, the only network that is likely to remain on the air is the AT&T SportsNet Southwest may be saved as the Houston Rockets and Astros have reportedly started talks to buy AT&T SportsNet Southwest from Warner Bros. Discovery.
Warner Bros. Discovery says they expect all RSNs to be sold or shut down but didn’t list which ones would be sold and which ones will be shut down.
A few teams have already found new TV homes. The Utah Jazz will air its games on free OTA TV on KJZZ for in-market fans. The Vegas Golden Knights have already reached new deals to air for free on OTA TV in their markets with Scripps Sports and will air for free in-market for fans.
This is great news for sports fans that want to cut the cord. AT&T SportsNets had been hard to find on many cord cutting services. Now these teams will easily be found on local channels with a streaming service or an antenna for free.
This still leaves multiple teams looking for partners. Reportedly the leagues and Warner Bros. Discovery are working with them to find new homes and expect new deals in place before AT&T SportsNets shut down this year.
For cord cutters, RSNs have been vanishing recently leaving DIRECTV STREAM and Fubo as one of the few cord cutting services to offer RSNs. Many RSNs now offer a direct-to-consumer streaming option, but they are not cheap averaging about $20 each.
As we learn more about new TV deals for these teams will post updates as soon as the details have been confirmed.