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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Blue Jays become first MLB team without a dedicated radio feed, with Rogers simulcasting TV feed and blaming pandemic

Canada’s Rogers Sports and Media owns MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays and the TV (Sportsnet) and radio (Sportsnet The Fan 590 in Toronto, plus many of the stations in the Blue Jays Radio Network across Canada) that carry their games. That’s now led to the Jays being the only MLB team to not have a distinct radio broadcast. (That can be confirmed via this list of the current broadcasters for each team.) Rogers announced Friday that they’re “streamlining” their Jays broadcasts for 2021 (read: killing the radio feed and replacing it with a simulcast of their TV feed). And, amazingly enough, they’re trying to blame the COVID-19 pandemic for this, citing travel and production issues. Here’s that announcement:

“In an effort to minimize travel and closely adhere to team, league, and government protocols related to the pandemic, Sportsnet will be streamlining production for the 2021 season by simulcasting TV broadcasts on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and across the Sportsnet Radio Network. Blue Jays fans can now enjoy the legendary voices of Buck Martinez, Dan Shulman, and Pat Tabler on both TV and radio. Ben Wagner remains part of the Blue Jays on Sportsnet broadcast team, joining Jamie Campbell, Joe Siddall, Hazel Mae, and Arash Madani in covering all the bases throughout the season.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2021 at 04:23 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, radio

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6006991)
Let's take a closer look at that on replay. As you can see right here ....
   2. Perry Posted: February 27, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6006993)
Yeah, that's not going to work at all unless the TV crew essentially does a radio broadcast. Didn't Scully do that at times?
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 27, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6006996)
I remember back in the 60s, one of the Pirates' rare spring training telecasts would be disrupted, and Bob Prince would announce that he was switching to a radio description. He'd always say that Florida had an independent phone company, and they proved it every day.
   4. BDC Posted: February 28, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6007005)
I think that radio and TV audio have been converging for many years. It's clear that radio announcers often depend on the TV feed of a game (and why not; it is a better view than they get from their booth). And I am a cranky old man, but radio announcers have long been moving in the TV direction of inserting countless statistical factoids and gabbing about everything but the action.

So there isn't a huge distinction, though as Walt says there is still the problem that TV announcers sometimes need to describe something fundamentally unavailable to radio listeners. Now, a radio announcer will sometimes say "Looking at that on the replay" in support of some analysus, rather than "Look at that on the replay" and maybe one verbal habit will have to replace the other when there's no separate radio feed.
   5. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 28, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6007007)
Didn't Scully do that at times?
For a long time he would do TV the entire game, but the first three innings would be simulcast over radio.
   6. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 28, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#6007008)
. He'd always say that Florida had an independent phone company, and they proved it every day.

I dont get it.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 28, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6007011)
As a Jays fan, I'm not a fan of this plan.

That said, I don't listen to the radio broadcast all that much (maybe 10 minutes in total over the last 2 years), so this doesn't really affect me.

As well, having Dan Shulman being the play-by-play guy is probably making the best of a bad situation. He was the ESPN radio guy for baseball for years, and I think he can handle the dual role quite well.

   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6007012)
Schulman is such a pro, and he's been doing simulcast college basketball games all winter, I'm sure the broadcast will still be pretty good, but this still sucks.
   9. Jose Canusee Posted: February 28, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6007034)
This is not like the mid '70's Finley A's that had a FM student radio station broadcast for lack of a contract.
   10. caspian88 Posted: February 28, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6007051)
I find it interesting that our usage of language is changing such that the word "feed" is used here in the headline to refer to an over-the-air radio broadcast. I've never seen that usage before and it shows how dominant over-the-Internet data feeds have become.
   11. Itchy Row Posted: February 28, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6007052)
The Canadian word for radio is "TV."
   12. bunyon Posted: February 28, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6007055)
Bull. Every team before the 20s played without a dedicated radio feed.
   13. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: March 01, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6007089)
The Canadian word for radio is "TV."

Sort of; the French arm of the Canadian Brodcasting Corporation, including TV, is called "Radio-Canada". (Actually, the full name is "Ici Radio-Canada Télé".)

   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 01, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#6007090)
A couple of random people should broadcast a "radio version" of the game by watching it all at home, and describing it with a 10-second delay over the internet. I mean, isn't that simply an audio version of what ESPN and other news sources successfully won the right to do in the courtrooms when MLB sued them for "gamecasting" their product a matter of seconds after each pitch? (I may have a few of those details wrong, but that was the key legal decision that opened the door to how immediately news sources could post the result of "the last play" in sports without being considered "broadcasting" the event.)

You could make it really sabermetric-friendly, or you could make it really funny and is no different from what ESPN does with gamecast.

   15. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2021 at 04:45 PM (#6007171)
#14 ... the courts might (or might not) feel differently about an audio description. The second strikes me as closer to a "broadcast." There may also be issues about the difference between "news" (a record of what happened) compared with something presented for "entertainment."** Then there are licensing issues -- you may not be able to refer to "Cubs" or "World Series" without an MLB agreement. The year after the Cubs won the series, it was interesting listening to their radio broadcasts and the different ads ... mainly the ones that referred to things like "your north side champions" because they hadn't fronted up with the cash for MLB/Cubs.

** So, every minute "there's a strike" and every 3 minutes "single to right" might be OK but nobody's gonna listen to that.

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