Oakland Athletics to Become First MLB Team to Abandon Traditional Radio

PHOTO CREDIT: DARREN YAMASHITA-USA TODAY SPORTS

If you’re like me, you grew up spending your summers on the beaches of the Jersey Shore listening to Phillies broadcasting legends Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn and Andy Musser calling the games of legendary Phillies players like Todd Zeile, Ricky Otero, and Wendell Magee…

Fine. Maybe that last part is a stretch, but those guys were the soundtrack of the summer.

For generations, baseball on the radio has been a natural marriage, but times they are a-changin’.

As such, the Oakland A’s are poised to become the first MLB franchise to abandon traditional radio in its primary market, instead turning exclusively to a streaming platform.

Baseball fans in the Bay Area hoping to catch the A’s on the go this season must turn to the TuneIn streaming service after the team and KTRB—it’s previous broadcast partner—failed to reach a renewal agreement.

Here’s A’s President Dave Kaval to explain the decision via this story from The Mercury News:

We’ve been looking to fans last year and the response to A’s Cast has been so positive. Everything is to podcasts and ability to consume content in a more tailored way. And a lot of people are younger, we’re seeing more new fans. We felt it was really important this year that we continued to amplify the partnership with TuneIn.

Maybe I’m not giving the more seasoned generation enough credit here, but a good chunk of any MLB team’s fanbase is comprised of older fans, and I’m guessing those older fans who are on the go aren’t going to be too psyched about streaming games through a third-party smartphone app.

Just check the replies to this tweet:

The A’s are spinning this as a tech-savvy decision by the team in an attempt to market towards a younger Bay Area audience, but they could, you know, just do both.

You may remember our old friend Kyle Scott—he used to (still does?) write here. Anyway, he weighed in on the topic:

Lots of baseball fans are 60 years old. They drive Corvettes. Not being on the radio is an affront to your hardcore fan, which, yes, says something about the state of your product. But this feels like making a statement for statement’s sake and not actually making a wise business choice. Dopes.

That seems about right.

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18 Responses

  1. Philly beat writer, being cynical about market he clearly knows nothing about. Just because you have a issue with change, doesnt mean we do in the bay.

    1. Stay in your banana republic of a state, asshole. Nobody really gives a shit about it. When the next earthquake hits your shithole city you can rest assured that everyone here will pray your house collapses first.

  2. So these old guys make enough money to live in the Bay Area and drive Corvettes. But they don’t have Blue Tooth connections? Or Chevy Wifi which has been available for 5 years?

  3. Nothing on Trump being honored for gay rights by the United Center for Gay Americans? Interesting. That has to piss off the Muslim community… eh Rowhome?

      1. Funny, your people had no interest in the land in which Israel stands before. But we put intelligent, motivated people there and they turned it in to a flourishing economy…. now you want back in???? Lol !!!!!

        1. 🤣🤣🤣 your talking about a Zionist nation that was given trillions of dollars. And they barely break even. The Muslim community would have done a much better job than those people.

      1. It’s not fair. I plunge toilets for years and these people are my socioeconomic equal one month after they arrive.

        Be right back. When I go nuts like this I respond to myself all night.

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