Although it is a lesser question on the coming MLB season – if there is one – it’s been open whether broadcasters would be permitted into the otherwise empty stadiums as part of the production, or whether they’d have to do things remotely.
It seems MLB has made its determination, and it’s a hybrid approach that reduces travel:
All MLB announcers( TV and radio) have been told they will be doing all 2020 road games from a local broadcast studio or home ballpark with monitors as their guide.
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) June 4, 2020
As a consumer of the game, I don’t like it. Part of what broadcasters are there to provide are the things we can’t see on the TV ourselves. A whole field view. Greater context. Specific things the camera’s eye isn’t picking up. Some of that will still be discernible from a remote feed. Much of it will not.
As someone who understands everything has to be flexible this year, however, I am fine with this. It sounds like broadcasters would be able to do their thing for home games – staying at home in the process – but then would not have to be added to the traveling party on road trips. There are a variety of reasons why that’s a fine idea in the pandemic context, not the least of which is the increase in safety for the broadcasters, themselves.
So, then, if there is a season, the broadcasts of road games are going to be very odd if you’re aiming to listen to Len and JD, or Pat and Ron. I’m sure there will be hiccups and adjustments. Such is how the whole thing will be this year.
(I also wonder what this will mean for the actual production of the events on the road by a new network like Marquee – will they be even more limited on the road than they were going to be already? In other words, are they even going to be able to send their production teams to the road parks to create their own feeds and broadcasts, or are they simply going to have to rely on the feeds at the home park, and repurpose them for their own use? For the first time, I’m now suspecting it’s the latter. I hadn’t thought about it until now. And, yeah, that too is a bummer, but probably for the best.)