Toronto Blue Jays fans furious after Sportsnet says it's ending radio broadcasts of games
The Toronto Blue Jays are set to become the first MLB team in decades without a dedicated radio broadcast and fans aren't happy about it.
Sportsnet Media released an announcement stating that games would be simulcast on the radio for the 2021 season.
This is new: The Blue Jays won't broadcast directly on radio this season for the very first time. They will simulcast the TV broadcasts on radio. I love Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez doing TV. I really do. But historically I haven't loved simulcasts of any kind.— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) February 26, 2021
This means that, while radio listeners will still get to hear the game, they'll only be hearing an audio transmission of the television broadcast rather than a broadcast meant specifically for radio.
I get that they will probably save a few bucks, but you are absolutely right. TV guys talk for the TV audience. They don't paint a picture because they don't have to. Radio guys tell the whole story because the listener needs that. It'll never be as good listening in the car.— Howie Mooney (@HowieMooney) February 26, 2021
Traditionally, radio broadcasts have done a better job of painting a more scenic picture to listeners that don't have the visual aid of television to help them out. Jays fans who enjoyed following games in the car or at work now feel as though they'll be missing out on the full experience.
This seems like a mistake. My grandma used to watch with the tv on mute and listened to the game on the radio. On the other hand, maybe it will force them to reduce all of the chatter and just call the game.— Sarah Boyd (@Trisarahcrops) February 26, 2021
"I would argue that the radio baseball experience is better than the TV product," said one fan. "The crack of the bat, the snap of the leather as the ball hits it. The sounds of the game are more important then the visuals. This is a bad idea."
Sportsnet, which like the Blue Jays is owned by Rogers, claims that the simulcast is being done to streamline production and minimize travel.
Nooooo.... I know it may be unpopular, but I love baseball on the radio.— RedIslandDreamer (@myislanddreamer) February 26, 2021
The network also announced that Ben Wagner, who previously handled radio play-by-play duties for the organization, will remain part of the broadcast team.
With Spring Training set to begin this weekend, Jays fans will have plenty to look forward to after some big-name free agent signings.
That said, with the loss of their radio broadcast and more time spent away from Toronto, it will still be a while until fans can root root root for the home team like they used to.
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