SBD/July 2, 2013/Media

Cuba Gets First MLB Game Telecast On Open Airwaves Since '61

A “nearly 2-month-old matchup” was aired Sunday night in Cuba, the first MLB game broadcast seen there in its entirety on the open airwaves “in more than half a century,” according to Anne-Marie Garcia of the AP. But the “early reviews were not overly enthusiastic.” The game was “between two teams that boast none of the defected Cuban stars.” Around 9:30pm ET, "Baseball International" cut to a full replay of the May 2 Nationals-Braves game. It was “unlike a normal U.S. broadcast, stripped of commercials and lasting just an hour and a half or so.” Cuban commentators “provided color and play-by-play over the original English, which could be heard faintly in the background.” Cuban TV “sometimes carries MLB highlights and last month showed several games” of the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals “days after they were played.” Sunday's broadcast is “the first time since 1961 that a full MLB game has been seen on the open airwaves, which is what most Cubans have access to.” It was "not clear if Cuba got permission" from MLB to broadcast the game. "Baseball International" launched about “four months ago and has shown professional play from leagues in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and other Latin American nations” (AP, 7/1).

MIC CHECK: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote he has “had a lot of pleasure watching” the Orioles this year on MASN. But he added, “I have to say the direction and camera work Saturday night for the Fox telecast featuring Joe Buck on play-by-play and Tim McCarver as analyst were outstanding. Fox made me feel as if I was practically on the field with its crisp, tight close-up shots that captured the mood and the moment time and again throughout the game” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 6/29). Zurawik wrote of ESPN’s Sunday Yankees-Orioles broadcast, “I'm not all that crazy about the three-guys-in-booth broadcast team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and John Kruk. But I loved the sound, look and feel of Sunday night's production.” Zurawik wrote ESPN anchored the telecast with “some of the most eloquent and evocative panorama shots of Camden Yards that I have ever seen.” Shulman "does not have the sense of authority or commanding vocal rhythms" of Buck. But he did a "solid job of keeping the broadcast on track and maintaining control of the conversation." Hershiser is "a strong analyst." He is "not Jim Palmer, but he's close enough." Zurawik wrote, "I am not sure what Kruk's role is. He's supposed to be a bit of comic relief, I think, but he simply felt extraneous to me all night" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 6/30).
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