The Cincinnati Reds radio broadcasts will remain on 700 WLW for at least the next five years as the two organizations came together to renew their broadcast deal. The extension should come as no surprise given that the Reds games on the radio have been sent out from 700 WLW’s radio tower since 1969.

While many of us use our phones or smart devices to stream radio stations these days, the reach of the radio waves from 700 WLW still get out there to states as far as Texas under the right conditions and that kind of reach is still important because not everywhere has wifi or cell service, particularly when you’re driving. But the car you’re in will still pick up a radio station. No other local station has that kind of carry.

While we are talking about broadcast deals, we still don’t know entirely what’s going to happen with the televised games at this point. It seems that Bally Sports parent company Diamond Sports Group, which is a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. That would put Major League Baseball teams under the Bally Sports umbrella in the position to take back their television rights. What they would do with those rights remains a bit cloudy. In the short term it would seem that the plan would be to put local games on with an “in-market” streaming option as well as possibly have the local games show up on MLB Network while everyone tries to secure another option for their games.

We covered much of that a week ago, but there’s another wrinkle now coming up. Another company which owns the broadcast rights to several Major League Baseball teams (as well as several other professional sports league rights) – Warner Bros Discovery is looking to get out of the regional sports network business according to The Wall Street Journal. They have alerted the teams that they have deals with that they can’t pay their broadcast rights fees and that bankruptcy is on the table for them if the teams and leagues do not want to take over the rights. They have the broadcast rights to the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Houston Astros.

That would put a total of 17 Major League Baseball teams television contracts on the block. Teams are going to fall well short of what they were expecting to get from their rights deals in the short term. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the next few years as teams who remain with a network who can make their payments could have large advantages in revenue over teams who don’t and won’t be able to get “pre-cord cutting” prices if they do find a new network to broadcast their games on your local cable/satellite provider.

24 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    Back when the radios where analog, and not digital I could pick up the Reds
    broadcasts in Colorado Springs (on a good day).
    What memories of Marty and Joe.

    • Trainradio1

      WLW has an analog signal. Amplitude modulation, no different than when they first went on the air in 1922 except more powerful.

    • Bill J

      I use to pick up KOA early in the morning about every day in Southeastern Ohio.

    • Joey Red

      Marty and Joe on Reds Radio! Those were the days.

  2. JediJoey

    Sometimes, it is good to be old. I have so many fond memories of listening to Marty and Joe on the radio as a child. My children don’t understand how I can still enjoy listening to sports on the radio. The right broadcasters can paint the action perfect in your mind’s eye.

  3. Jimbo44CN

    I go a bit farther back in the day, listening to Wait Hoyte and Pee Wee Reese! Wow, do I feel old now.

    • Joey Red

      I was born in 61 so I don’t remember Waite. I think he retired in 64 or 65. My dad loved him. I do seem to remember that during rain delays Reds Radio would play recordings of Waite telling stories he told during rain delays. But I could be wrong.

      • Oldtimer

        I tried this once but the system thinks I’m a robot. I did what it said but the message disappeared.

        A short version. Waite retired in 1965. He was the Voice Of The Reds when I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s.

        His rain delay stories were priceless when heard live in those days.

      • TR

        Just out of college, I moved to NYC in 1960 and it was a big thrill for me to listen to Waite Hoyt describe the 1961 Reds/Yankees World Series. In those days, Waite described Red’s road games from the telegraph wire and when there were rain delays he told fascinating stories of his days as a great Yankee pitcher playing with Ruth, Gerhgi, and all. What memories baseball brings.

      • Joey Red

        My dad went to the WS games at Crosley in 61. My mom was 8 months pregnant with me. In one of those games Reds pitcher Joey Jay appeared. When I was born a month later and it came time for me to be named my dad announced Joey as my first name and Jay my middle name. My mom said yes to Joey but no to Jay lol.

  4. Jedi Joey

    There is something special to listening to baseball on the radio. I know that I’m old and it is probably nostalgia but I still listen instead of watch at times. A good broadcaster will paint the action perfectly in the mind’s eye.

    • Mark Moore

      My late grandfather loved to watch a TV feed and listen to the radio broadcast. If you follow my commentary in-season, you’ll know I prefer the WLW audio feed to the obsessive oral dissertations that come from the TV team most of the time.

      • Jedi Joey

        That is awesome about your grandfather, Mark. I agree about preferring the radio team versus the TV team as well.

  5. Mark Moore

    Over 55% ready to default. That’s a pretty dark cloud.

    But the nostalgia of my old transistor radio and “heavy skies” that fostered a good signal skip to where I lived in southern NY state. The classic sign-off of “The old lefthander rounding third and headed for home” still rings sweet and true in my memories. Got to love that, even if the only WLW feed I’ll get will be the audio-only from whenever I decide to pony up for the 2023 subscription.

    Thanks, Doug!

    • Jim Walker

      NBC Universal would appear to be next up. By my quick Googling, they appear to have the Phillies, White Sox, Giants and perhaps others.

      And then there is the continuing mess in Los Angeles where Spectrum’s SportsNetLA has the Dodgers rights and other cable providers have balked at carrying their channel on the terms offered by Spectrum.

      It appears a tipping point has been reached. I think a major question still to be settled is whether MLB, NBA and NHL will form some sort of coalition or each will go it on their own.

    • Jim Walker

      Mark, if you haven’t already seen/ heard the MiLBTV is rolled into At Bat/ MLBTV packages.

      • Mark Moore

        I did see that about MiLB-tv. In fact, they have a separate offer for $30 for the season (if I recall correctly). I suspect the dam might break shortly on the whole she-bang.

      • Jim Walker

        Yeah, I buy only the audio and got my MiLB rolled in so I them both for $30 (or was it $39). Either way, in the past it would have been $50 I think for the MiLB on its own and another $20 for the MLB radio feed

  6. Rut

    Enjoy getting the Reds feed on XM radio when driving, glad to still be able to hear “the Reds are on the Ray-D-O” and that wlw will still be that home

  7. Daytonnati

    I vaguely remember Waite Hoyt, but did not start paying close attention until the Claude Sullivan and Jim McIntyre years. I remember McIntyre leaving and the Reds bringing in an unproven young guy by the name of Al Michaels. He and Joe were great and there was real disappointment when Al left to go to the Giants. But, in comes Marty and the rest is history.

    I am curious if anyone else remembers the TV crew of Ed Kennedy and Frank McCormick?

    • Jim Walker

      I was raised on Waite to about the age of 15 when he left the radio. I recall McIntyre for his phrase “on hand today to provide the opposition today are……”. I still think of that even today except sadly it is usually the Reds on hand to provide the opposition for somebody else.

      And yes, I recall Ed and Frank. During at least part of their run on TV, the Reds TV was split between 2 different stations (WLWT/ WCPO?) with different commentators on each station; but, I do not recall who called the games on the other channel.

    • Oldtimer

      I remember Kennedy and McCormick. My aunt was once engaged to Kennedy’s brother (but they didn’t marry) and Mom’s favorite Red was Frank McCormick.

      Claude Sullivan was the UK basketball radio broadcaster before Cawood Ledford.

      I think Sullivan took over when Waite Hoyt retired in 1965.

  8. Swede

    Anyone wanting to listen to some of Waite Hoyt’s stories can go to YouTube and type “Waite Hoyt in the rain” in the search box.

  9. Doc

    One wonders if all this broadcast mess was behind, at least in part, the payroll slashing by the FO. Surely they would have known the uncertainties that were coming before it became public.