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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Pens rename broadcast network to ‘Sportsnet Pittsburgh’ and hire new commentators

In the midst of troubling times for regional sports networks, and with many households making the switch from cable to streaming, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to get some good news regarding their broadcasts. 


Fenway Sports Group (FSG), the owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins, recently purchased AT&T Sportsnet from Warner Bros. Discovery. FSG will be rebranding the network as “Sportsnet Pittsburgh.” The acquisition and name change is set to become official on October 2. 


In addition to now having ownership of the Penguins’ broadcast network, FSG also has a majority ownership in the New England Sports Network (NESN), who broadcast games for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. While the Penguins will be the owners of the new network, NESN will be taking care of the daily operations at Sportsnet Pittsburgh.


NESN does offer a streaming service that includes live and on-demand games, as well as exclusive shows and content. It is unclear whether a similar format will be implemented with Sportsnet Pittsburgh. What also remains a mystery is what will happen to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ broadcasts next season, which were also televised on AT&T Sportsnet.


The name on the TV network isn’t the only change coming to Penguins broadcasts next season, for the names in the booth will be changing as well.


On September 1, it was announced that Penguins color commentator Bob Errey would not be returning to his role next season. Errey played for the Pens for ten years, joined the radio broadcast team in 1999 and moved to TV in 2004, giving the organization and city everything he had. “I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for my former colleagues and friends that I have worked with for the past 22 years!” Errey said in a letter to the fans. “I will cherish the many incredible moments this seat has given me. It has brought me a special joy and excitement and I hope it did for you as well.”


Steve Mears, the Penguin’s play-by-play announcer for the past six years, will not be returning as well. “I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to all of the colleagues and great Penguins fans who have reached out over the last several days,” Mears said in a tweet on Wednesday. “You’ve turned a tough week into a joyous one, which is incredible. I’m already excited about some opportunities for this season!”


The Penguins have yet to make an official statement regarding the personnel change in the booth. All of the information has come from Senior Writer for The Athletic, Josh Yohe. 


Sources close to the team have said that radio play-by-play announcer Josh Getzoff is likely to be Mears’ replacement in the booth this year.


Bob Errey’s former position will likely be filled by either Colby Armstrong or Phil Bourque, who are both former players for the team as well. Armstrong has worked as an analyst for AT&T Sportsnet since 2016, when the network was still known as Root Sports. In addition to working for the Penguins, he has recently worked as an analyst for the NHL on TNT, which carries select NHL games on national TV as well as NHL playoff games. Phil Bourque has been the Penguins radio color commentator since the 2006-07 season, working alongside Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange for many of those years, and Getzoff in the years since Lange retired.


One key member of the main broadcast team that will be remaining with the network is rinkside reporter and fan favorite personality Dan Potash. Along with his work on the game broadcasts, Potash also hosts a monthly show titled “Inside Penguins Hockey,” which gives fans insight into players both past and present, as well as events happening within the organization and Pittsburgh community. 


While there are still several uncertainties for the Penguins’ broadcasts this season, fans can be sure that they won’t need to worry about losing access to watching their beloved hockey team.

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