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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Oakland Athletics off the radio waves in the Bay Area, commit to A’s Cast stream

There will be no Oakland A’s games broadcast over the radio waves in the Bay Area in 2020.

Instead, all games will be broadcast on A’s Cast, streamed via TuneIn, the team announced Tuesday. The A’s and KTRB did not renew the one-year deal they struck last spring, just before the season began. The hastily arranged partnership came on the heels of an ugly split between the team and 95.7 The Game.

Now, the A’s are moving again. They will be the first professional sports team to have a local radio broadcast entirely on a streaming service. Though the method will change, the voices stay the same. Ken Korach will return for his 25th season and Vince Cotroneo for his 15th season.

This also means that the A’s will be the first team to abandon an institution synonymous with baseball’s culture — radio is a method through which most people are accustomed to listening to games, to put it mildly.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 18, 2020 at 02:48 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: radio

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   1. Tin Angel Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5925156)
Anyone know if A’s games will still stream via MLB At Bat?
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5925161)
That’s probably no big deal for most people when they are at home, but it is going to make it tough to listen to the game while in a car.
   3. Traderdave Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5925164)
90% of my baseball consumption is A’s radio.

Lack of long term radio home is one the franchise’s biggest failings, as well as its most inexplicable. In the 20 years I’ve lived in the East Bay they’ve had approx half a dozen stations and some very questionable ones at that. For a few years the flagship station was nutty evangelist Harold Camping’s station, so in between games listeners enjoyed his End Times prophecies. Last year it was bizarre right wing talk station so we had the added bonus of Sebastian Gorka and other assorted loons in between games.

How frickin hard can it be to keep a contract with ONE station or even buy a damn AM station??

Ironically the A’s radio announcers are excellent, easily in the top 5 in MLB.

   4. Walt Davis Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5925169)
it is going to make it tough to listen to the game while in a car.

Apple Car Play, Android Auto or, if you don't have either of those and you can't bluetooth it through your car's speakers then earphones or a small bluetooth speaker or, heaven forfend, your phone's speaker. I've had a couple of lovely mornings driving across empty regional NSW listening to a Cubs game.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5925170)
I would assume most radio stations are dying for good content, so it'd be like shooting fish in a barrel.
   6. A triple short of the cycle Posted: February 18, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5925171)
I will second Traderdave's comments. I too get my A's over the radio. It was a bummer when they left 95.7 The Game.

Ken Korach will return for his 25th season and Vince Cotroneo for his 15th season.

Geez I remember when Cotroneo started. I didn't like him at first, but he grew on me pretty quickly. He has great home run calls.

I am amused when Korach uses his "that quickly" line... "And that quickly the A's take a 3 to 1 lead." Everything happens quickly in baseball, Ken!
   7. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: February 18, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5925175)
How frickin hard can it be to keep a contract with ONE station or even buy a damn AM station??


Everything I've read suggests the team has been unhappy with the level of A's coverage with each of their last few stops. They want set up like the Giants have with KNBR or at least one where the station at least dedicates more time to them than the team across the bay (95.7)
   8. . Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5925193)
Anyone know if A’s games will still stream via MLB At Bat?


Yeah, that's the big question.
   9. Traderdave Posted: February 18, 2020 at 05:55 PM (#5925202)
Geez I remember when Cotroneo started. I didn't like him at first, but he grew on me pretty quickly. He has great home run calls.


He had a tough act to follow in the Great Bill King.
   10. Traderdave Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5925204)
Everything I've read suggests the team has been unhappy with the level of A's coverage with each of their last few stops. They want set up like the Giants have with KNBR or at least one where the station at least dedicates more time to them than the team across the bay (95.7)


Then buy a station or pay up for the programming time. #### costs money, and good #### costs good money.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:22 PM (#5925209)
Last year it was bizarre right wing talk station so we had the added bonus of Sebastian Gorka and other assorted loons in between games.


The Pirates were on a right-wing talk radio station for a while, so during games you used to hear promotional bumpers with Glenn Beck talking about nuking various middle eastern cities. Fun!
   12. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:30 PM (#5925210)
Then buy a station or pay up for the programming time. #### costs money, and good #### costs good money.


You're not wrong, but what about the A's makes you think this would have happened...
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 18, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5925215)
The stream is going to be free for now, so anyone with a phone (so, everyone) can stream it wherever they happen to be. I'm guessing the stream won't be for long.
   14. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:21 PM (#5925221)
Everything happens quickly in baseball, Ken!

Remebr that the first time you watch a 4-hour game this year.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:52 PM (#5925229)
Lack of long term radio home is one the franchise’s biggest failings, as well as its most inexplicable. In the 20 years I’ve lived in the East Bay they’ve had approx half a dozen stations and some very questionable ones at that. . . . How frickin hard can it be to keep a contract with ONE station or even buy a damn AM station??

Ironically the A’s radio announcers are excellent, easily in the top 5 in MLB.
I posted in the other thread before noticing this one, but isn’t this all about lack of demand for the A’s radio rights? Aren’t there sports radio stations that would benefit from having the A’s rights? The A’s won’t make more money by going primarily streaming, will they? Or is this the wave of the future?
   16. Zach Posted: February 18, 2020 at 07:57 PM (#5925230)
I would assume most radio stations are dying for good content, so it'd be like shooting fish in a barrel.

You'd think so, but there was an article posted here last year laying out the radio station's perspective on the A's broadcast deal.

Basically, the radio station was treating A's games like free content. They would broadcast the games and give away promotional materials paid for by the team, but then immediately shift to talking about the Giants and the Warriors when the A's game was over. They didn't want to be the home of the A's, they wanted A's games to raise the visibility of their otherwise conventional sports talk programming.
   17. winnipegwhip Posted: February 18, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5925247)
The Athletics are not the first team not to have games available through streaming only. The Expos when they werè run by Loria and his mini-me David Samsun kept Dave Van Horne off the airwaves for a year or two contributing to their demise.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2020 at 01:40 AM (#5925272)
The stream is going to be free for now, so anyone with a phone (so, everyone) can stream it wherever they happen to be. I'm guessing the stream won't be for long.

MLB at-bat costs $20 per year and doesn't black out radio broadcasts. So the A's couldn't possibly charge more than that for their stream (unless they think folks will pay for additional exciting A's radio content) and there seems little point in killing your meager radio market by charging, say, $10 per year. Assuming they can get advertisers, there's no reason to charge for it.
   19. Traderdave Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:09 AM (#5925307)
I posted in the other thread before noticing this one, but isn’t this all about lack of demand for the A’s radio rights? Aren’t there sports radio stations that would benefit from having the A’s rights?


Generally, yes, it's about demand. But specifically it's also about the A's holding out for a price. The A's are holding out for a Cadillac at a Chevy price and they need to get real. It's also a conundrum of their own making: the rights are worth less because of decades of radio instability that the A's inflicted on themselves.

It's not always easy being an A's fan.....
   20. Vitor Artur Posted: February 19, 2020 at 10:27 AM (#5925310)
Amen to traderdave in #3.
   21. asinwreck Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:27 PM (#5925438)
More than 40 years ago, the A's had no radio affiliate until a few days before Opening Day, when they made an agreement with KALX to broadcast the games. KALX is the FM station of UC Berkeley, and at the time it only had a 10-watt transmitter.
While this arrangement proved frustrating for A's fans who lived outside KALX's broadcasting range, stories are told of little old ladies who called relatives in Berkeley and had them hold the phone up to the radio - it did garner quite a bit of publicity. Baer appeared on the "Today" show and "Good Morning America," and the "CBS Evening News" filmed him going to classes. He was also featured in Sports Illustrated and nearly every major newspaper in the country, but he wasn't alone in this effort. UCB sophomore Bob Kozberg, a Mass Communications major, and KALX producer/engineer Steve Blum rounded out the team that presented A's games on the same equipment that the station used for Cal sporting events.


Baer in this story is the same Larry Baer who was in the news in the past couple of years.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5925466)
And that was the Butthold Surfers, now we take you out to Alameda County Coliseum for "The Manager's Corner" with Jackie Moore. Over to you Fosse.
   23. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: February 19, 2020 at 09:51 PM (#5925479)
Wasn't there a time in the 70s when the A's radio outlet was some 10-watt station that couldn't even be heard at the stadium? (That was when the future MC Hammer was batboy/general manager, right?)
   24. Snowboy Posted: February 19, 2020 at 11:28 PM (#5925487)
This also means that the A’s will be the first team to abandon an institution synonymous with baseball’s culture — radio is a method through which most people are accustomed to listening to games, to put it mildly.


As
17. winnipegwhip Posted: February 18, 2020 at 09:01 PM
says,
this is not the first time a team has abandoned radio. Jeffrey Loria sabotaged the Expos in many, many ways, and not having them available on radio for our listening pleasure was one of them. (And there was nil "streaming" option then, so it was just radio silence.)
   25. Tin Angel Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:38 AM (#5925493)
#23, meet #21.
   26. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 07:18 AM (#5925496)
Doesn't affect me at all, but when I was 22 and living in Palo Alto and had little to do but enjoy the substantial pleasures of northern California in the summertime, Bill King and the A's were the soundtrack to my life. Now King's been dead for 15 years, the A's don't feel the need to be on the radio anymore, and my hair is almost completely gray. So I'm feeling bummed about this non-event in my life.
   27. Traderdave Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5925557)
I wasn't an A's fan until I moved to the Bay Area and discovered Bill King. He was my soundtrack as well.

But be glad your hair is gray -- it could be falling out like mine is.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5925565)
I moved to Oakland during the Harold Camping days, and have fond memories of the post-game show abruptly transitioning to his end-of-days call-in show. I caught the tail-end of Bill King, and also developed enormous affection for him very quickly.
   29. Traderdave Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5925568)
Harold Camping lived just a couple blocks away from me. I figured he truly believed his prophecies and that was why his house was a falling apart mess of deferred maintenance.
   30. . Posted: February 20, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5925571)
I remember following the A's 1979 radio situation as a 15 year old in the Sporting News, which had to have been near its peak then. Nick Peters, I think, was the A's correspondent. I miss the paper of record days; I'd read the thing almost cover-to-cover once a week and (rightly) feel that doing that alone (with Sports Illustrated) had caught me up on sports -- that I was now ... informed.

It's essentially impossible to do that so efficiently now. You could read each team's MLB.com site or local paper, I guess, but that would be far too time-consuming -- and their aims aren't as well-honed or focused. The Sporting News writers and editors were aiming to do precisely what I (in retrospect) wanted them to do, and accomplishing it perfectly. No outlet has that aim today.

   31. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:27 PM (#5925633)
The buy-your-own station seems to have worked for the Angels with KLAA 830, but it blew up in the Cardinals' faces when they bought KTRS and dumped KMOX after 35 years. You couldn't hear KTRS on the east side of the river and they had to get a second flagship in Litchfield, IL. They sold the station and went back to KMOX a couple of years ago and everyone is happy again.

it is odd that the A's, despite their glory days in the 70s and the end of the 80s, has always been the redheaded stepchild of the Bay Area and have never had a stable radio situation.
   32. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 20, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5925672)
The A’s won’t make more money by going primarily streaming, will they? Or is this the wave of the future?


I know virtually nothing about the radio industry, but I can't see why the A's couldn't make more money this way. Baseball has natural breaks that are perfect for advertising that doesn't feel forced. Why couldn't the A's sell advertising, not have to share that advertising revenue with the radio station, and come out ahead financially?

I get nostalgia. But isn't this just a case of, you used to be able to turn on an electronic device and listen to somebody describe an A's game to you (if you lived close enough to get the signal - which apparently was an issue several times with the A's). And this season, you can turn on an electronic device and listen to somebody describe an A's game to you (with no parenthetical caveats).
   33. DL from MN Posted: February 20, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5925686)
I always wonder what would have happened if Apple had enabled the FM radio in the iPhone rather than intentionally disabling it to promote streaming.

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