Root Sports Utah is an American regional sports network that is owned by the AT&T Sports Networks subsidiary of AT&T Inc., as an owned-and-operated outlet of Root Sports and is an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, the channel broadcasts regional coverage of sports events throughout Utah, namely the Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Utah State Aggies. Root Sports Utah is available on cable providers throughout the state of Utah, and nationwide on satellite via DirecTV and Dish Network.
The network originally launched in 1990 as Prime Sports Intermountain West; owned by Liberty Media, it served as an owned-and-operated outlet of the Prime Network group of regional sports networks. In 1996, News Corporation, which formed a sports division for the Fox network two years earlier after it obtained the broadcast rights to the National Football Conference, acquired a 50% interest in the Prime Network from Liberty Media.
On November 1, 1996, News Corporation and Liberty Media relaunched the Prime Network affiliates as part of the new Fox Sports Net group, with the Salt Lake City-based network officially rebranding as Fox Sports Utah. The channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Net Utah in 2000, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner; subsequently in 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Utah, through the networks' de-emphasis of the "Fox Sports Net" brand.
On December 22, 2006, News Corporation sold its interest in FSN Utah and sister networks FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Northwest and FSN Rocky Mountain to Liberty Media, in an asset trade in which News Corporation also traded its 38.5% ownership stake in satellite provider DirecTV for $550 million in cash and stock, in exchange for Liberty Media's 16.3% stake in the company.
On May 4, 2009, DirecTV Group Inc. announced it would become a part of Liberty's entertainment unit, part of which would then be spun off into the separate company under the DirecTV name, in a deal in which Liberty would increase its share in DirecTV from 48% to 54%, with Liberty owner John Malone and his family owning a 24% interest. DirecTV would operate its newly acquired FSN-affiliated networks through DirecTV Sports Networks, a new division formed when the split off from Liberty Media was completed on November 19, 2009.
On December 17, 2010, DirecTV Sports Networks announced that its four Fox Sports Networks-affiliated regional outlets – FSN Utah, FSN Pittsburgh, FSN Northwest and FSN Rocky Mountain – would be relaunched under the "Root Sports" brand. The network officially rebranded as Root Sports Utah on April 1, 2011. On April 8, 2016, DirecTV Sports Networks rebranded under the AT&T name as AT&T Sports Networks.
Root Sports Utah holds the regional cable television rights to the NBA's Utah Jazz. The Jazz signed a new exclusive 12-year agreement with the channel on October 20, 2009, ending the team's broadcasts on KJZZ-TV (channel 14). The network also carries Colorado Rockies baseball and a variety of collegiate sporting events, including football and basketball from Mountain West Conference (incluing local favorite Utah State), Big Sky Conference football (including local favorites Southern Utah and Weber State), West Coast Conference men's basketball (including local favorite BYU), and, as a result of its continued affiliation with Fox Sports Networks, games from the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, and Big East conferences, as well as the annual Tour of Utah cycling event. The network formerly televised Utah Utes athletics until the creation of the Pac-12 Network in 2012. The Utes can still be seen on the network, but only in the form of game replays produced by other networks.Thurl Bailey – Jazz Live studio analyst
Craig Bolerjack – Utah Jazz play-by-play
Ron Boone – Utah Jazz color commentary
Steve Brown – Utah Jazz sideline reporter
Alema Harrington – Jazz Live studio host
Matt Harpring – Utah Jazz color commentary
Phil Johnson – Jazz Live studio analyst