Thursday, July 01, 2010

BBC radio to broadcast Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins, Sunday July 4th, 2010

"BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is scheduled to broadcast a live MLB game for the first time next Sunday evening. Baseball fans across Britain will be sitting excitedly at their DAB radio or computer to listen to a top match-up from the American League as the Rays take on the Twins at Target Field from 19.00.

While established baseball fans can take advantage of subscriptions to ESPN America (now in HD on Sky) and/or the great offerings at MLB.com, MLB’s disappearance from terrestrial TV has been a big blow in the campaign to attract newcomers to the sport.

This isn’t quite a return to TV coverage, but it’s the next best thing.

We don’t yet have details about whether this a one-off deal or a longer term arrangement, or quite what the programme format will be. The NFL coverage on 5 Live Sports Extra normally takes a local radio feed for the game (occasionally they provide their own commentary), with a UK-based studio providing analysis and news during breaks in the play. Arlo White, Neil Reynolds, Greg Brady and the rest of the ‘NFL on BBC’ crew take a similar approach to that of ‘Baseball on 5’: insightful analysis for both newcomers and established fans, with plenty of humour and audience interaction thrown in for good measure.

Hopefully the MLB coverage will take a similar format and it will be a regular programme.

It’s not quite the same without the likes of Jonny Gould and Josh Chetwynd bringing us all together and if the BBC coverage can take on that role, it will be great news for us all.

We are provisionally planning to run a live blog during next Sunday’s game. More details will follow nearer the event."


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