Thursday, September 13, 2012

Radio Only Games Make No Sense

As this is written, the Tampa Bay Rays are battling the Baltimore Orioles in an absolute gem of a game 14 innings deep. Rays fans must be enjoying watching it right? Nope. If you live in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area you can't the game isn't on TV. In an era of record TV contracts for live sports, shouldn't these "radio only" games -- something A's fans are quite familiar with -- be a thing of the past?

In Tampa Bay/St. Pete what will you see on SUN (TB's equivalent of CSN) instead of the Rays game? "ScubaNation" started off the afternoon. (The show bills itself as, "Highlights of scuba diving and underwater sea life.") Currently, "Fishing the Flats" is on the air.

The Rays, however, did something today that the A's have never tried -- a viewing party. Fans are watching the teams battle it out in the Tampa Bay area at a team-sponsored event featuring the Baltimore broadcast feed. (How this is even possible considering MLB.TV's strict blackout restrictions is a whole different story.)

Here's hoping that the A's for the final three "radio only" games -- at least the road ones -- will consider something similar. If few people RSVP for the events then cancel them. They key is providing fans with most ways to connect with the team.

Here are the A's upcoming "radio only" games:

Date and Matchup CSN California TV Listing
9/20 10:05 a.m. A's @ DET Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes
9/27 11:05 a.m. A's @ TEX SportsNet Reports
9/29 1:05 p.m. A's v. SEA SEC College Football: TBD @ TBD

The 20th and the 27th are likely some sort of contractual issue. The 27th is just inexcusable. The A's might as well be showing "ScubaNation" during that time slot. CSN can't switch the game to California's sister channel Bay Area as they are showing the Giants. However, if "SportsNet Reports" is truly unmovable, why not show the game on CSN+? Taping and broadcasting A's day games also allows provides CSN with great footage to run at night, when there are no games and folks are looking to catch up on the day's action.

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