By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
As I drove through the Worcester hills Sunday night, I searched up and down the radio dial looking for World Series Game 5.
It was nowhere to be found.
The Sports Hub and the station on the other side of town were carrying Patriots postgame. With no other options on the FM dial and no satellite radio subscription at my disposal, I turned to the only thing on other more dead than baseball itself: AM radio.
I scanned up and down. Nothing. Boston’s old sports station can’t be heard much beyond of 128 at night. I found a Central Mass station carrying the Bruins. WFAN in New York was broadcasting Sunday Night Football.
Finally, I found it: a scratchy, staticky signal coming in on 690 AM, a sports station based in Montreal.
What does it say about the health of America’s national pastime that a Canadian station is apparently the only place in metro Boston to find the World Series radio broadcast?
I’m sure there were other, better options, but I couldn’t find them while I was behind the wheel and I’m sure I wasn’t alone.
Other leagues, notably the NFL, have succeeded in making their games as accessible as possible. The NFL remains primarily on network television and there are seemingly hundreds of other ways to find the games. Streaming, Red Zone, satellite, if you want to find a football game, you can find it.
This is 2019. We live in a world where any content we want is accessible to us in seven different ways. But baseball has completely failed in this regard.
Nobody can find these postseason games anywhere. Is tonight’s game on Fox? FS1? Where’s TBS on my cable? Do I even get MLB Network?
The games are impossible to find, are played too late at night on the East Coast, and they take too long.
The best two games of the outstanding Astros-Yankees series ended well after midnight. The drama of Game 6 of the ALCS was unmatched, but if you fell asleep before it ended or didn’t bother to find FS1 on your television, I can’t say I blame you.
Put all these factors together, and it’s no coincidence that World Series ratings are down significantly. If people aren’t watching or listening to your sport, that’s a problem.
Here’s a concept, MLB: make it a little easier to watch or listen to your games. Is that too much to ask?