2012 TV schedule

Far be it for any fan of a team, whose loftiest goal in 2012 is to stay out of the AL West cellar, to complain about TV coverage. Yet here I am, and I will. Normally at this time of year I’d be coming off of SF Beer Week and looking forward to NCAA basketball conference tournaments and the Big Dance. As I wrote yesterday, it’s all baseball for me this year. Whether this becomes a tradition is unclear. For now I’m going with it.

CSN California will carry 144 out of 162 regular season games this year, plus one spring training contest (and one A’s-Giants tilt on CSN Bay Area). Fox Sports will have two games per their Saturday game-of-the-week. The A’s don’t show up on ESPN’s national schedule. TBS hasn’t even published their schedule yet. MLB Network and MLB.tv will show another five spring training games. The coverage gaps are in the places we as A’s fans have become accustomed: midweek getaway day games.

I’ve already renewed my MLB radio subscription, so I don’t expect to miss anything regardless of where I am, starting tomorrow. I don’t need to see every spring training, especially the split squad affairs. But I am concerned about the first two games of the regular season, which are technically home games to be played at the Tokyo Dome. The two games will have their first pitches at 3:10 and 2:10 AM Pacific Time on 3/28 and 3/29, respectively. Four years ago, when the A’s were playing San Jose State to Boston’s Nebraska, the games were broadcast on ESPN, so if you wanted to stay up the games were there. This year that may not be the case.

For weeks now the games have shown up on the schedule for Mariners’ RSN ROOT Sports, and not on CSN California’s schedule. To get some clarity, I reached out to friend-of-the-blog and ace CSN producer Casey Pratt. He confirmed that CSNCA would not be carrying the games, whereas ROOT Sports would, and that there was a chance that MLB Network may carry those games even though they’re not on the schedule. An arrangement could be made per MLB Network’s retransmission agreements with the various RSNs. If it can’t, it’ll be a strange way to start the season, with no TV. Even if MLB Network were to delay it for rebroadcast in the morning, that would be fine. I’m not certain if the blackout rule for the premium Extra Innings or MLB.tv packages would be applicable in this case, with the A’s being the “home” team.

Japan games aside, the TV schedule isn’t too bad. I’d prefer every game to be televised, but if the businessperson specials aren’t that’s more reason to get out to the Coliseum. I don’t mind that one bit. That first time I hear Ken Korach describing balls and strikes, I’ll know spring’s here. Bring it on.

9 thoughts on “2012 TV schedule

  1. I can’t wait for Saturday

  2. This may not be totally applicable to the MLB Tokyo Games, but I have noticed that the blackout rules for hockey on regional sports networks don’t seem to apply to retransmissions. MSG will often reair complete New York Ranger games (Blueshirt Transplant, but not a Yankee fan, GO A’s!) the morning after. If CSNCA isn’t going to air the games but ROOT Seattle will, they may rebroadcast them the next day without blackout restrictions. Let’s hope so.

  3. Sort of a side issue, but how’s the sound quality with the MLB At Bat app and delay? I’m debating whether to get the app this year for my iPhone/iPad instead of the Gameday subscription that I’ve had since 2001.
    I still miss Bill King.

  4. @crister: Historically, the sound quality over MLB At Bat is pretty poor during Spring Training. It’s the same this year. I don’t have an honest radio handy to compare the delay. This year’s app is essentially the same as 2011’s. I doubt they even made many under-the-hood enhancements. However, once the season gets going the sound quality should be fine. My favorite feature is listening to the visiting teams’ feeds. Switch over the the WEEI feed when Boston is in town. You’ll hate the Red Sox in a whole new way.

  5. During Spring Training it sounds like–and probably is–transmitted over phone.

  6. @ Briggs: UGH don’t even remind me of WEEI. I was living in Boston during the 2003 ALDS… with no TV and no internet at home, and not willing to be surrounded by Red Sox fans at a bar, I listened on WEEI. Listening to those two games in Boston aggravated me so much that I refused to follow game 5 in any way, shape, or form. It was so peaceful, I almost didn’t care when I heard far off cries of joy when (as I would later find out) T-Long went down looking to end the series.

  7. I think we need to get more Ann Killion on with Monte Poole and Lowell Cohn on A’s postgame shows. I think it would bring new energy through the telecasts. Veracity and optimism would mark the day with these news casts.

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