Those turning on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh this afternoon in anticipation of the Pirates' Opening Day contest against the Chicago Cubs may be surprised to notice that FSN Pittsburgh is no more and, instead, has been replaced by Root Sports.â†µ
An elaborate April Fool's Day joke? Not quite.â†µ
Today's transition to Root Sports is, in fact, part of a rebranding effort by DirecTV, who purchased FSN Pittsburgh, along with two other stations, from Fox Sports in 2010.â†µ
The sports network first announced the change to ROOT Sports in December and was working long before then to stage a comprehensive image change that requires eliminating all references to FSN Pittsburgh and replacing it with ROOT Sports on the TV screen, on marketing and mailing materials, on the sign on the station’s North Shore offices and everywhere else, including from the mouths of its announcers.â†µ
Though I was unable to find a website for DirecTV's newest subsidiary, an official Facebook page for the fledgling Pirates and Penguins flagship can be found here. How all of this will effect coverage remains to be seen, though it is a pleasant development seeing a new name wedge itself into the Fox-dominated field of regional sports coverage.