Report: MLB broadcasters to be sidelined on road

Field Level Media

June 04, 2020 at 8:17 pm.

When, or if, the 2020 Major League Baseball season starts, out-of-town broadcasters will be calling the games from their home cities and not from the ballparks, USA Today reported Thursday.

All 30 teams have been told that their radio and television broadcasters must call the games off monitors instead of going on the road, according to the report.

The MLB directive to call games remotely is expected to extend to national broadcasters, such as ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

USA Today said broadcasters could travel later in the season, if health and safety requirements are met.

Calling sports remotely isn’t unheard of. It has been done with World Cup games and the Olympics.

The baseball season was scheduled to start on March 26 but has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association are struggling to reach an agreement on issues that include the length of season and player pay.

The format of the season, should it be played, remains up in the air. MLB rejected the 114-game proposal by the players association for the 2020 season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Wednesday.

The report added that the league does not intend to make a counteroffer for a number of regular-season games, and will discuss additional options with the union. ESPN reported Monday, via sources, that owners considered countering the 114-game proposal with a micro 50-game season.

The players believe that an agreement reached between the sides in March awarded them a prorated portion of their salaries based on games played. The owners believe the same agreement gives them the ability to mandate a shorter season, as well as the ability to further reduce player pay if fans are not in the stands for games.