Listening to a baseball game on the radio is something that is built into the fiber of Cincinnati Reds baseball fans. Marty and Joe carried the play-by-play for three decades to a wide ranging area over the airwaves of 700 WLW. Over the last decade and a half those names have changed, first when Joe Nuxhall retired, and then when Marty Brennaman followed along two years ago with his own retirement. What also changed is how much of the technology is used. With the internet, and now phones and tablets – many younger fans don’t own radios that aren’t in the dashboard of their cars.

That has made it more difficult to listen to baseball games because while you can stream, for free, nearly every radio station in the United States via an app or their website, Major League Baseball has “blacked out” radio broadcasts via the internet and apps for over a decade, instead forcing you to pay for their app to listen to the games. That is changing this year. At least sort of.

On Tuesday morning it was announced that 700 WLW got permission to stream Cincinnati Reds baseball games through their website, apps, smart devices, etc. without fees as long as the user is “in market”. How far that range extends was not detailed, but if you are in the greater Cincinnati area it certainly would seem to allow you to open up your iheartradio app and listen to the games this year. For the first two spring training games I was able to listen to them through my Amazon Echo – at the time I assumed that someone just forgot to hit the “nuke” button on the broadcast because it was early in spring training.

While this may not help someone living in Cleveland listen to Cincinnati Reds games, for many people in the Cincinnati area this is a big deal. You take your phone everywhere with you. Now you can listen to the game wherever you go, if you choose, without having to also either take a radio, or fork over some cash to MLB simply because you didn’t want to buy a radio to carry around with you in Cincinnati.

20 Responses

  1. Jonathan Linn

    yay! Now i don’t have to put up with AM static while trying to listen to the games from South Bend 🙂 I’m imagining this can be streamed through iHeartRadio app??

    • Doug Gray

      Don’t get ahead of yourself…. South Bend may not be included. It could be – they didn’t specify exactly who would be included or not, but South Bend isn’t exactly “close”.

      • Jonathan

        Doug, I have always been in the black out area of MLB TV Package for the Reds…and assumed Radio would work the same way. Guess I’ll find out.

  2. Bred

    Thanks Doug! I was excited until the end as being in Texas I am well out of market, but the storm here a couple of weeks ago sure had me wishing I had a transistor radio. During the week of power outages, I kept thinking of my little radio I used while in beg listening to Waite Hoyt.

  3. Kevin Patrick

    I’ve got an insanely long wire from my house to some fence posts outside…AM radio!

  4. renbutler

    They should really make it available throughout the whole Reds TV market. Any time there’s a storm between Indy and Cincy, hearing the games is nearly impossible.

    • Matt WI

      Exactly… would hope for folks that it corresponds with the tv market footprint they use for determining black-out ranges.

  5. KG

    On a semi-related topic, anyone know where I can stream the Reds on television this season? Last season I used YouTube TV, but it looks like they’ve dropped Fox Sports Ohio.

    • Matt WI

      Hulu+ still has the Fox Regionals for now, I’m told. Or, depending on if you live out of market, mlb.tv subscription.

      • Tim

        They don’t, Hulu along with others dropped all the regionals last year.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think the two things are similar. One requires a paid model to acquire (television), while the other model is free so long as you own a radio and live close enough to pick up the station.

      • John Walsh

        Well, I live in Chicago. I can pick up 700 WLW right now, but I can’t stream the game through iHeartRadio. So, respectfully, I’m guessing that they’re more similar than aren’t similar. If there’s a better proxy, then I’d encourage posting it.

  6. Rex

    It looks like Fort Lauderdale is outside the coverage area too

  7. Mark Moore

    Reminds me of the old days (70’s) when I could pick up WLW when cloud cover was thicker and there was more “skip”. I was in Southern NY State at the time.

  8. Marc E Koester

    I found the Reds on fox sports ohio through AT&T TV streaming app,
    Expensive though. Ever since the fall out from fox sports & the big streaming format companies couldn’t get a deal done over $$$.
    Watching sports has become as expensive as going to the game back in the day? Lol
    Go Reds!

  9. TXRedLeg

    It was an awesome day when I found that I could stream WLW in NC and hear Reds games. Then I couldn’t. Then I found out I was somehow in the blackout area for the subscription service, because, you know, I’m likely to hop in my car and drive 8 hours to catch that action. MLB has some serious issues with making their content available.

    • Mike

      You are so correct sir ! .. MLB is sooooooooo short sighted . Instead to doing all they can to attract fans , they do just the opposite just in the name of short term $$$ .. How much sense does that really make ?

    • Jon Pierce

      Agree with you on MLB being behind the times. Been in Southern CA for 40 years and no longer listen to baseball bc I can’t stand the Dodgers.