One of my favorite things about Sirius XM Radio — and probably the reason I got it in the first place — is the MLB package. As most baseball fans know, it has live play-by-play of every game and the newly-rebranded MLB Network Radio (formerly XM Home Plate) on XM Ch. 175 / Sirius 210.
When I first started my subscription, XM 175 featured hosts like Mark Patrick and Charley Steiner. Ever since they were phased out last year, the lineup of hosts has jumped and shifted so much that it’s impossible to follow. Though I generally enjoy the work of most of the current hosts like Casey Stern, Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy (I even think Rob Dibble would be OK in a bit smaller doses) the worst decision the channel made was to make its evening programming a simulcast of MLB Network on TV.
It might be great for branding and synergy and all that marketing stuff, but it stinks for listeners.
Anyone who listens to any significant amount of radio knows that TV simulcast makes for awful radio. Of course, it also makes for cheaper radio, which may explain why an MSNBC simulcast was also “added” to the lineup this week.
The MLB Network crew does a great job with highlight and analysis, but it’s all geared towards TV. An occasional player interview and a portion of the commentary, not relying on visuals, are the only facets that translate well. The hosts are in a tough spot — they can’t read all the graphics, that’s terrible TV. But if they don’t give listeners enough info, it’s even worse radio.
Satellite radio once held so much promise, with the range of programming that could be offered catering to a wide range of musical, informational and other entertainment tastes. But the bloated contracts given to hugely overpriced talent have hamstrung efforts to make the service profitable. Reducing service seems to be the direction Sirius XM has chosen, which is a shame.
I’m a “Lifetime” subscriber, which means I’m on board until the company goes out of business, or declared bankruptcy and voids my agreement. So there’s not much incentive for SXM to cater to my tastes. It’s current monthly and yearly and new subscribers they need to satisfy. We can only hope that one day the service won’t just be music stations and parroting of what’s already on my TV.