With the Pirates ready for their first home game in the National League Division Series today, fans planning to watch from home probably still need some help finding the right channel on their TV lineup.
Game 1 Thursday aired on TBS and Game 2 Friday was on MLB Network.
This first game in Pittsburgh, Game 3 in the series, returns to TBS. Once viewers find it, expect initial storylines to focus on Pirates fans, the playoff drought and, of course, PNC Park - which provided all those powerful sights and sounds during the National League wild-card game.
TV folks knew that would be the case even before the first post-season game was played.
"If they go deep into the playoffs, their ballpark might be the 10th man, and I think that's an amazing thing," TBS analyst Ron Darling told Sports Illustrated before PNC Park and the fans did seem to play a role in the Reds' demise. "There are a lot of ballparks that have great fans, but Pittsburgh has been so starved for so long that they have excitement there that might really lift their team up."
Darling also told SI he enjoyed new teams in the playoffs, and that the Pirates have had a "magical season."
Some viewers were not happy with the broadcast magic (OK, messiness) the TBS on-air team of Ernie Johnson, Darling, Cal Ripken and Craig Sager brought to the wild-card game, though, and some of those critiques were probably fair.
Even in a one-game, winner-take-all situation, four people is too many, and TBS did not offer much opportunity for Darling and especially Ripken to make points. There were apparent sound level problems at times, too.
Still, Johnson always seems solid to me. Maybe unspectacular, but solid, and complaints about the national anthem not aired strike me as nit-picking.
For the NLDS, the on-air TV team has been Dick Stockton (who worked in Pittsburgh for four years in the late 1960s and early 1970s), Bob Brenly and Matt Winer.
Anyone catching the games on ESPN Radio nationally has heard play-by-play man Dave Flemming and analyst Rick Sutcliffe.
The Pirates' radio broadcasters (who handle Root Sports duties during the regular season) have provided performances to match that of the team late in the season. Or maybe the team is finally playing up to the broadcasters' level - especially that of Greg Brown and Bob Walk.
Twenty years ago when he joined the team, Brown seemed overly energetic, but his "Raise the Jolly Roger!" has become the accepted catch phrase of the team - and fan base. That's always a good thing for a team's play-by-play man, and his energy works especially well in post-season games. Walk's simply solid with his matter-of-fact, down-to-earth approach.
Among the many national analysts and experts taking aim at the Steelers, none have seemed especially unfair. It's just that honest assessments might be tough to hear for some fans.
And some experts have been seemingly prescient, especially with the Steelers trading with the Arizona Cardinals for former Penn State lineman Levi Brown a couple of days after this from Rodney Harrison on "Football Night in America."
"I think you start by benching one of those guys," Harrison said on NBC. "I know their fan base doesn't want to admit it, but they're in rebuilding mode now."
n When the Steelers return to action Oct. 13 against the New York Jets, they'll draw the No. 1 broadcast pairing from CBS Sports. That's Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, along with a guest analyst - former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. For three games that weekend, CBS is moving some of its studio team to game sites featuring their former teams. So Cowher gets the Steelers while former Cincinnati QB Boomer Esiason works the Bengals-Bills game, and former Denver TE Shannon Sharpe gets an assignment as part of the Jaguars-Broncos rout.
n The Pirates' wild-card victory over the Reds drew a 33.7 rating in the Pittsburgh market. That's the highest on record for an MLB game in Pittsburgh. Nationally, the game drew 4.6 million viewers, up 15 percent from a St. Louis-Atlanta wild-card game in 2012.
n In case you missed it, baseball playoffs in Oakland have pushed the Chargers-Raiders game to 11:35 tonight. The CBS tandem of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will work the game, along with their usual CBS production team, but the game will air on the NFL Network.
Steve Sampsell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.