MASN to drop travel ban on national Orioles TV anchor starting Tuesday: sources

Beginning Tuesday night in New York, Mid-Atlantic sports network lifted its travel ban for television broadcasters, according to multiple sources.

MASN announcers Kevin Brown and Jim Palmer will be on site at Yankee Stadium for the entire three-game series between the Orioles and New York Yankees, the first time since 2019 that any Orioles announcers have been on the road.

According to sources, the change is expected to continue until the end of the season. One of the sources said the ban has also been lifted on the Washington Nationals’ MASN programming. That could take effect as early as Friday, when citizens head to San Francisco to play the Giants.

MASN, the regional sports network that is majority owned by the Orioles but broadcasts all 162 Orioles and Nationals matches each season, is the only network that has not yet sent its broadcasters on the road, opting instead to use remote technology from Camden Yards and Nationals Park. The Los Angeles Angels also started the season without broadcasting talent traveling, but changed tack last week and sent their TV announcers to Houston for a three-game series on April 18-20. They are expected to travel at least the following two road chains, per source.

According to sources, the talent of the Radio Orioles network will remain on the ground, as all of its broadcasts will come from Camden Yards. The Orioles are the only baseball team that didn’t have TV and radio talent in 2022; The radio announcers are employees of the team and have traveled since the start of the season.

In 2020, no clubs had their broadcast teams travel during the brief pandemic season, as part of Major League Baseball’s protocol. Some teams are starting to do it again slowly in 2021, with almost complete participation in 2022.

However, MASN sent a note to staff in March stating that there would be no travel to start the season due to “an abundance of caution due to the ongoing Covid pandemic”.

However, the overriding sense in the industry is that the Orioles felt they had the right technology to continue broadcasting remotely, hiring trucks and camera staff to visit cities while directing and producing games on site at ball fields in Baltimore and Washington — which, of course, could mean financial savings. Great for Orioles and MASN.

However, technical difficulties almost immediately weakened the product. During the current trip that started in Auckland and continued to Anaheim, there were many obvious shortcomings in the broadcast, from on-air delays to echoes in headphones to asynchronous audio and video during games and pre- and post-game performances.

These problems eventually led to the travel ban being rescinded, the sources said.

the athleteSam Bloom contributed to this report.

(Jim Palmer Image: Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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