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Play ball! See the schedule for Reds spring training TV, radio broadcasts

John Kiesewetter
The Reds open Cactus League play 4 p.m. Friday, March 18, from their home park in Goodyear, AZ.

Finally! Cincinnati Reds baseball returns to the WLW-AM and Bally Sports Ohio Friday, March 18.

Tommy Thrall and Jeff Brantley broadcast the Reds' Cactus League opener against the Cleveland Guardians at 4:05 p.m. Friday on flagship WLW-AM, three weeks later than scheduled due to the owners' 99-day lockout.

The Reds-Guardians opener also will be on Bally Sports Ohio — but with the Cleveland announcers.

Bally Sports Ohio will carry six spring games — three with Reds TV announcers John Sadak, Chris Welsh, Jim Day and Sam LeCure — and three produced by another Bally Sports regional sports network. The Reds TV team makes its spring debut with the Reds-Giants game 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20.

Thrall and Brantley are expected to do all 18 games to be broadcast on iHeartMedia's WLW-AM (700) or WSAI-AM (1360). All weekend games and night games will air on WLW-AM, which has a stronger signal.

The Reds were supposed to start with two split squad games on Saturday, Feb. 26, but three weeks of spring games were wiped out due to the owners' 99-day lock-out of players during contract negotiations.

The schedule:

Friday, March 18: At Cleveland Guardians, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Cleveland announcers/Bally Sports Great Lakes production).

Saturday, March 19: Oakland A's, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Sunday, March 20: San Francisco Giants, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Reds announcers).

Monday, March 21: At Chicago Cubs, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM.

Tuesday, March 22: At Los Angeles Dodgers, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM.

Wednesday, March 23: At Milwaukee Brewers, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Reds announcers).

Thursday, March 24: At Kansas City Royals, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM.

Friday, March 25: No game.

Saturday, March 26: At San Francisco Giants, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Sunday, March 27: Colorado Rockies, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Reds announcers).

Monday, March 28: Chicago Cubs, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Tuesday, March 29: At Texas Rangers, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Rangers announcers/Bally Sports Southwest production).

Wednesday, March 30: At Oakland A's, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Thursday, March 31: Chicago White Sox, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Friday, April 1: At Los Angeles Angels, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM, Bally Sports Ohio (Angels announcers/Bally Sports West production).

Saturday, April 2: San Diego Padres, 9:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Sunday, April 3: At Arizona Diamondbacks, 4:05 p.m., WLW-AM.

Monday, April 4: At Kansas City Royals, 4:05 p.m., WSAI-AM.

Tuesday, April 5: Seattle Mariners, 3:05 p.m., WSAI-AM.

The owners' lockout also has delayed the regular season by a week. The Reds will open the season at 7:20 p.m. Thursday, April 7 in Atlanta with a four-game series against the Braves. Annie Sabo, daughter of Reds Hall of Famer Chris Sabo, debuts as a co-host of Reds Live at 6:30 p.m. April 7 on Bally Sports Ohio.

Bally Sports Ohio has not announced its regular season Reds TV schedule or plans for telecasting the Reds' Opening Day parade or first home game at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 12.

From the release:

Reds programming airing on Bally Sports Ohio will stream live on the Bally Sports app and on when a consumer authenticates through their pay-tv service. The Bally Sports app is available on mobile and tablet devices, including iOS and Android, as well as connected devices including, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, PlayStation, Roku Players and Roku TV, Samsung and LG platforms and Xbox One. Fans can also download the app for free from the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, Roku App Store, XBOX One App Store and Windows App Store.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.