Always a catch, and not of the on-the-field variety. MLB Advanced Media has announced a partnership with YouTube to provide free streaming of MLB games within 36 hours of completion along with on-demand feeds of what it terms "every game" from the current season, along with 2009. But before you say "It's about time!", there is that 'catch'.
It looks like you have to be in Japan to have this feature. While fans here in the U.S. still have to pay for it. Isn't it time we ask why?
Shouldn't it be the other way around? To me, fans in Japan should incur a small charge for this service since they have little to no way of viewing MLB games throughout the season. And it should be FREE here in the U.S.
This wouldn't bother me if it weren't for the fact that I, along with millions of other baseball fans, are paying for cable/satellite each month at inflated costs partially because of the sports networks which use our money to pay MLB for the rights to carry the games. Yet, we are subject to blackouts. If only we were refunded for days on which a network we "subscribe" to is blacked out for 3 or more hours.
Now, fans in Japan, thousands of miles away, will be able to watch these games for free?
While techies begin searching for the site that will allow this, here is the actual story:
Of course, baseball is not the only sport where fans are subjected to having little to no choice about receiving telecasts.
Still another example in the Denver area and parts of Colorado for this coming Saturday (9/4). The Colorado vs. Colorado State football game kicks off the season in a highly anticipated matchup. And guess what? Local fans of either team have to have DirecTV OR an expanded digital (more expensive) package from Comcast Cable in order to see this game. It will not be shown on a "basic" cable service or over-the-air. Fans around the state don't care about ESPN/ABC covering a ton of other games. For all they collectively contribute each month to cable and (other) satellite provders, they have no choice in the matter.
The technicality here is that Colorado State is considered the home team for the Denver game, thus giving the rights to The MTN.
Thus, for what is estimated to be half of the local TV market, they either have to pony up in a hurry for one telecast or won't be able to watch the game at home.
For those paying the piper, James Bates and Todd Christenson will have the call.
Otherwise, it will be like the old days when you relied on radio to listen to the game. Both KOA 850 and KLZ 560 will have the broadcast. Mark Johnson and Larry Zimmer will have the Colorado call on KOA while Brian Roth makes his State play-by-play debut (replacing Jerry Schemmel who joined the Rockies' baseball booth for this season) with Kevin McGlue on KLZ. At least the radio stations aren't limiting the broadcasts to HD Radio stations and forcing listeners to purchase HD radios in order to hear the game. Sound far fetched? That's what the cable and satellite companies are doing to us.
As the sports radio competition heats up with the new Dolphins season and a new flagship station, WQAM took the steps to protect its morning drive. Big Dog Joe Rose has reportedly signed a 2-year extension to continue on its morning show.
SAN FRANCISCO: The Bay Area's radio "Big Dog" Gary Radnich of KNBR 680 was very well replaced while on vacation last week. F.P. Santangelo (yes, the former pitcher) filled in for Radnich on the 9 AM to Noon show and handled the shift extremely well. It turned out to be great timing since this was also the week that the Giants' pitching collapsed.
DALLAS: As The Ticket 1310 gets ready for NHL season and its Stars coverage, the station has assigned Matt McClearin to host the pre-game and post-game coverage along with intermissions for the coming season. McClearin will continue to co-host "The Scrubs" from Noon to 2 PM each Saturday.
PHILADELPHIA: Comcast SportsNet has added Lisa Hillary to add to its extensive Flyers coverage for the coming season with John Boruk moving over to the anchor desk. Hillary has plenty of NHL coverage experience, having served with Comcast SportsNet in D.C. on Capitals coverage and on Canada's TSN in the past.
MINNEAPOLIS: Kudos to the NHL's Wild. They are actually making it easy for fans this season. Fans with basic cable or satellite should be able to see all 82 regular season games. Fox Sports North has 50 telecasts scheudled, KSTC-TV has 24 games, and the other 8 are scheduled for national telecasts on Versus.
BALTIMORE: Comcast SportsNet has named Julie Donaldson as an anchor and reporter for its SportsNite shows following a 3-month freelance tryout. Donaldson has anchor experience with SNY New York as well as WHDH-TV Boston. The network has named Jill Sorenson as the beat reporter for the Capitals.
CINCINNATI: Fox Sports Ohio has added the Sept. 16th home game against Arizona to its schedule after losing the Sept. 25th telecast vs. San Diego to Fox Sports as either a regional or national telecast. This means that all but one of the Reds games for the remainder of the season will be televised locally. Their big series against the Cardinals this weekend includes Fox Sports showing the Saturday game at 4:10 ET. The only Reds game not scheduled to be televised is the Sept. 9th afternoon game against Colorado.
TAMPA: No word (as of press time) regarding a new afternoon drive host for ESPN 1040 to start next Tuesday (9/7). The station is running ESPN national programming this week after Marc Benarzyk left the station in a reported "mutual decision".
LOS ANGELES: Congrats to Lawrence Tanter, the long time Public Address voice of the Lakers on being named Program Director of public station K-Jazz KKJZ 88.1. Tanter had been doing weekends at KTWV The Wave.
SCRANTON: Plenty of high school football, including The Game 1340 beginning its play-by-play of 18 games this season including every Friday night. WQMY-TV 53 is also televising a series of games. Yet, the local coverage doesn't stop there. Four of the area schools will have audio of their games online, while the NorthEastPAFootball.com site will carry some of the games along with live scoreboard updates on Friday nights.
SCHEDULE: While college football fans prepare for the season opening feast of televised games, MLB Network again steps up to the plate to provide some key playoff race telecasts this week:
Thursday, Sept. 2 (7 p.m.) N.Y. Mets at Atlanta
Friday, Sept. 3 (8 p.m.) Cincinnati at St. Louis
Saturday, Sept. 4 (7 p.m.) Chicago White Sox at Boston
Have a great and safe Labor Day weekend!