For those Pitt fans who can't get enough Pitt Panther programming, look no further. Comcast digital customers in Western Pennsylvania, and parts of Central Pennsylvania, will be able to view the new Pitt Panthers Television on Comcast starting today.
Pitt Panthers Television is on channel 188 in the following communities:
Coraopolis, Baden, Pittsburgh, Darlington, Greensburg, Anchor, McKeesport, Rural Valley, Tarentum, Kiski, Washington, Canonsburg, Waynesburg, Beaver Falls, Midland, Rochester and Penn Hills.
Pitt Panthers Television is on channel 210 in the following communities:
Bethel Park, Upper St. Clair, McMurray, Mt. Lebanon, Monroeville, Murrysville, Plum, New Castle, Blairsville, Indiana, Latrobe, Adams, Armagh, Bedford, Central City, Cresson, Punxsutawney, DuBois, Ridgway and Smethport.
There will be approximately 500 hours of Pitt athletics broadcasting per year, live and on-demand, under this new initiative. This Thursday, Pitt fans will be able to watch a pre-game show, prior to the Miami game. Game replays will also be a part of this deal, including video produced from within Pitt's athletic department.
In addition to live basketball games, the channel will feature a number of non-revenue sports such as wrestling and baseball.
"I think when you talk about parents (of players), and all of our fans, we've got so many great alums and fans who are always interested in additional Panther programming, and now Pitt Panthers Television gives us the opportunity to provide that programming," Associate AD/marketing Chris Ferris said. "It's exciting. Fans in Western Pennsylvania and in Central PA will be able to tune into the Comcast network."
Starting this week, Pitt fans will be able to take advantage of the special pre- and post-game shows for football. Two hours prior to the kickoff for the Miami game, at 5:30 pm, Pitt Panthers Television will air its first pre-game show. Following the game there will be a post-game show that will also last approximately two hours.
"It's actually a 90-minute pre-game show," Ferris added. "The show will air from 5:30 to 7, then we'll kick it over to Bill Hillgrove and Bill Fralic in the booth, live on our flagship radio station, (93.7) The Fan. Post-game will be immediately following."
Game re-broadcasts will be available, starting this Sunday. Pitt fans will be able to watch the re-broadcast of Thursday night's Miami game. The same will go for next week's Florida International game.
As far as live basketball games, which will start this winter, the aim is initially set at the games that won't be picked up by any of the other networks.
"Once the selection (by the other networks) is made, we're always left with a few games that aren't televised," Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "We've televised those in different ways. We've put them on a station here, or we've done some stuff on the internet on our website. We'll take any games that aren't televised on our current contract, and put those on the Pitt Panthers Television."
"Connecticut and Syracuse have announced some initiatives similar to this," Pederson added. "I think Connecticut has a lot of their (programming) going through a lot of their own cable systems in the state. They're doing some things with SNY, as well.
It sounds as though a possible Big East TV network, similar to the Big Ten's, is still a little far of the realm.
"What we're trying to do is look at where we are right now," Pederson said. "Things like that, like a (Big East) network, are a number of years away. "We have a great partner in Comcast. We have fans who love content. We're going to go ahead and push forward as an institution, everything that we can find to put on the air for our fans. This is additive program that we haven't been able to bring our fans before, and we're very excited about that."