Warner Bros. Discovery set to leave regional sports network business, tells teams to find new partners

The move will affect 10 teams

Ten professional sports teams will likely soon have to find new broadcast partners, as their current one is trying to leave the regional sports broadcasting business.

Warner Bros. Discovery has told teams of its plans to get out of regional sports within the next several weeks.

WBD operates AT&T SportsNet in Denver, Houston, and Pittsburgh while also owning a minority stake in Root Sports in Seattle. 

The company has told teams they have until March 31 to reach a deal to regain their rights. If they can't, the channels will proceed with Chapter 7 liquidation filing.


David Zaslav and Warner Bros Discovery logo

David Zaslav, CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery speaks onstage during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022 show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 18, 2022 in New York City. ((Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery) / Getty Images)

"AT&T SportsNet is not immune to the well-known challenges that the entire RSN industry is facing. We will continue to engage in private conversations with our partners as we seek to identify reasonable and constructive solutions," WBD told Sports Business Journal.

The teams affected are in MLB (Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies), NBA (Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets) and the NHL (Seattle Kraken, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights).

Minute Maid Park

A general view as manager Rob Thomson #59 of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a pitching change in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in Game One of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 28, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The move comes amid the likely bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Group, which operates Bally Sports. Forty-two teams under 19 networks are broadcast on Bally, but Diamond is about $8 billion in debt.

Reportedly, WBC has been trying to get out of regional sports for months. 

general view of PNC park

A general view of the field in the fourth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park on July 30, 2022, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Justin Berl/Getty Images / Getty Images)


It is estimated that the Pirates bring in roughly $60 million per year with their current deal.