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Penguins reach record-length new TV deal with Root Sports

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hockey Nights in Pittsburgh have a TV home for nearly the next two decades.

The Penguins and Root Sports (formerly FSN Pittsburgh) have reworked an exclusive regional rights deal that places TV broadcasts on the local cable network through the 2028-29 NHL season.

Financial terms are not known, but this is a new contract for next season and it is the longest TV rights deal in franchise history.

There were three years remaining on the previous deal.

Regional ratings for Penguins broadcasts have led the NHL among national clubs for four straight seasons — including a record-setting 8.68 this past regular season. Broadcasts of Round 1 of Stanley Cup playoff games the past two weeks have nearly doubled that rating on average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

One rating point equates to 11,500 homes.

Root Sports, owned by DirecTV Sports Networks, will televise a minimum of 70 regular-season Penguins games each year on the new contract, which also provides opportunities for the cable network to broadcast exhibition and playoff games.

All Penguins broadcast will be televised in high definition.

This is the 25th year of a partnership between the Penguins and the region's dominant sports network. Root Sports reaches 2.4 million cable- and satellite-homes in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland, and it is also the exclusive rights holder for Pirates games.

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