Oakland A’s rethinking radio silence in wake of pandemic

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 26: Former Oakland Athletics' Vida Blue, Billy North, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Ray Fosse and former Athletics radio announcer Monte Moore standing on the field for the national anthem prior to the game between the Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1970's themed turn back the clock game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 26, 2010 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Pirates 5-0. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 26: Former Oakland Athletics' Vida Blue, Billy North, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Ray Fosse and former Athletics radio announcer Monte Moore standing on the field for the national anthem prior to the game between the Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1970's themed turn back the clock game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 26, 2010 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Pirates 5-0. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s made waves with their decision to not have their games broadcast over the radio this year. In the wake of the shortened season, they are rethinking those plans.

Prior to the expected start of the 2020 campaign, the Oakland A’s made the surprising decision to forgo a stable of baseball – games broadcast over the radio. Instead, the A’s planned on unveiling their own streaming service, with the revenues going straight to the team instead of a third party.

Then the shortened 2020 season happened. Now, the A’s are rethinking their plans, and could look to have radio broadcasts of their games after all.

In theory, the A’s idea has merit. Instead of being paid for the rights to broadcast their games, and the advertising revenue going to the stations, the A’s would get the streaming revenue and money from the advertisers. Hypothetically, it would be a creative way to improve their cash flow.

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This streaming service could have also been used for more than just ballgames. The A’s could create their own programming, allowing the fans more access to the team. Programs that give insight into the lives of the players, interviews, replays of classic games would provide constant content. It would be as though the A’s had their own television channel, but just in a different format.

But then the pandemic happened. Now, people are realizing that they do not have the internet or WiFi plans that they had thought. The streaming option, while it could work as soon as next year, just does not make sense now. But a return to radio, at least for one more year, could.

Likewise, the A’s could do both. They could begin that streaming service, and still have radio broadcasts. The A’s could add two different revenue streams, instead of shutting out an entire block of fans.

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The Oakland A’s may come back to the radio. It would be the right thing to do at this point in time.

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