CSN California had added 15 games to its broadcast schedule to bring its Athletics coverage to 160 televised games. It is the most comprehensive television schedule in the team's history, according to CSN's press release. All remaining games in this year's schedule will be televised on CSN California except for ESPN's coverage of the May 25 Memorial Day game against the Detroit Tigers from the Coliseum.
Thirteen of the games will feature a radio simulcast that will see the usual television team of Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper join Vince Cotroneo in the radio booth in what CSN is calling A's Baseball Breakfast presented by Black Bear Diner. The radio simulcasts will come during the previously non-televised mid-week day games, typically 12:30 PM starts at home and morning starts on the road.
CSN California is adding two full production games to its schedule, the Wednesday, June 3 game on the road against the Detroit Tigers at 4:00 PM and the Wednesday, July 1 game against the Colorado Rockies from the Coliseum at 12:30 PM.
Reading between the lines
With the development of video replay, Major League Baseball is essentially requiring every major league team to provide enough cameras to put on a bare bones broadcast anyway, and the addition of a radio simulcast maximizes what the A's get out of having enough cameras to provide official replay services.
CSN California is getting a live television event at minimal additional cost in that they already hold the rights to the games and the cameras are already in place to show them. We already saw an example of this last week when MLB Network played a radio simulcast of the A's game against the Minnesota Twins last Thursday. The typical fare on CSN California in the morning or mid-afternoon is a replay of one of NBC Sports' soccer properties, such as the English Premier League. The A's gain a live production and drop a days old placeholder from their schedule.
One concern I had, reading between the lines in CSN's press release, is exactly who will be in the Bill King Broadcast Booth for these games:
Additionally, the network will launch a special 13-game package, entitled A's Baseball Breakfast presented by Black Bear Diner, which will feature 95.7 The Game's radio calls with Vince Cotroneo, [Glen] Kuiper and [Ray] Fosse synchronized with live video. The games were previously scheduled to be untelevised.
While Ken Korach's name is omitted from the press release, it does not portend a significant development in his recovery from knee surgery. I reached out to A's vice president of communications and broadcasting Ken Pries, and he said Korach will join the simulcasts once he returns.
The club's television history has come a long way since Charlie Finley agreed with Larry Baer to broadcast the A's on UC Berkeley's 10-watt KALX for the first few weeks of the 1978 season. Let's hope for a full 162 from here on out.