Comcast SportsNet California recently announced that it will add 15 games to its current Oakland A’s schedule which means the regional sports network will air 160 games this season. Most of the games are early afternoon contests which were previously untelevised. In its announcement, Comcast SportsNet. It means for the rest of the season, CSN California will air all but one game which is an ESPN game on Memorial Day, May 25.
CSN is packaging 13 of the 15 games:
… the network will launch a special 13-game package, entitled A’s Baseball Breakfast,which will feature 95.7 The Game’s radio calls with Vince Cotroneo, Kuiper and Fosse synchronized with live video. The games were previously scheduled to be untelevised.
Now, you would think that Comcast SportsNet is doing this for the fans by adding the 15 games to its schedule and that might be partly true. But there’s an interesting side note here which SB Nation’s Athletics Nation blog points out:
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.
So CSN California adds live content to its schedule while at the same time, assisting MLB with its video replay system. In addition, Comcast SportsNet California joins other RSN’s which airs all of its MLB teams games that aren’t exclusively picked up by the national networks. Whether CSN California can pick up extra viewers which turn into ratings points to make this investment worthwhile is the next question.