With the delay of the 2020 MLB season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oakland A’s streaming-only plan for game day broadcasts was also temporarily put on hold. Now with a 60-game season set to begin in late July, rumors in the Bay Area suggest the team is looking for a radio partner for the abbreviated schedule.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s are “considering adding a Bay Area radio station back into their broadcast mix.” Without naming specific stations, reporter Susan Slusser says the team has been speaking with multiple potential broadcast partners.
It was just before Spring Training for the 2020 MLB season when the A’s announced an expansion of their partnership with TuneIn and to broadcast games via the “A’s Cast” channel. The news came as the team was unable to sign a Bay Area radio station for game-day broadcasts. When announced, it made the team the first in the league to have the audio play-by-play of games locally broadcast exclusively on a streaming platform.
For the 2019 season, the A’s inked a broadcast deal with Salem Media talk “860AM The Answer” KTRB San Francisco, which also carried A’s baseball from 2009-2010. At that time the franchise also entered into its partnership with TuneIn and cut a deal with Bonneville sports KHTK Sacramento (1140). KHTK will carry the shortened 2020 season.
It's unclear if KTRB is one of the broadcast partners currently in talks to carry the A’s two-month campaign. The franchise’s long tenure with Entercom sports “95.7 The Game” ended like a bad breakup as the A’s tweeted “It’s not us it’s you” along with video of equipment being moved out of the broadcast booth following the end of the 2018 season.
Upon announcing the TuneIn streaming-only partnership, many called the move bad for baseball. The San Francisco Chronicle published a piece titled, “There’s nothing good about the A’s radio news” and the New York Post proclaimed, “Oakland Athletics’ radio fiasco is MLB slap in the face.”
“Athletics Nation will surely be happy about this new development, as many in the community like using the radio and were bummed about losing it,” the fan site wrote in an article reporting on current broadcast negotiations.