Play Ball! How to watch Cincinnati Reds games during the 2022 season
Update 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, April 20: The Reds-Cardinals game at 6:40 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Great American Ball Park will be on Apple TV+ instead of Bally Sports Ohio. It's the second consecutive week that the Reds will be exclusively on the Apple TV+ Friday Night Baseball doubleheader. Coverage starts at 5:55 p.m. The Friday Apple TV+ games will be free "for a limited time," according to Apple advertising on the MLB Network. See more details about the Apple TV+ deal below.
Update 12:30 p.m. Friday April 15: Add YouTube TV to ways to watch Reds games this season. Major League Baseball has renewed its partnership with YouTube for a 15-game schedule, including the Reds hosting the Milwaukee Brewers at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday, May 11.
For a fourth season, YouTube TV will air a weekly Major League Baseball game "streamed live, for free, to fansaround the world in 182 countries," says the MLB announcement.
The 2022 version of MLB Game of the Week on YouTube premieres Thursday, May 5, with the Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies at 3:30 p.m. (EDT). Here's the YouTube MLB schedule.
From the release: "Fans will be able to access each broadcast for free from anywhere they can watch YouTube, including the free YouTube app on smart TVs, simply by tuning into MLB’s YouTube channel, or for YouTube TV members, on a dedicated channel via the app."
MLB Network will produce all 15 broadcasts this season with play-by-play broadcaster Scott Braun and analyst Yonder Alonso, the Reds 2008 first-round draft pick who played 10 years for the Reds, Padres, A's, CXleveland, White Sox and Rockies.
The Reds make their debut on Apple TV+ tonight from Los Angeles at 10 p.m. (Details below) Hopefully the production is better than Apple's debut last week which was called "unlistenable" by Boomer Esaison, the former Bengals quarterback and radio/TV broadcaster.
“It was, dare I say, unlistenable,” Esiason told his listenerson New York's WFAN radio. “I don’t know how else to say it. But, then again, it’s new, and it’s gonna be improved, and sometimes when things happen, and they first start, you’re like, Oh, my God, they’ve got to fix this … If it can’t get any worse, then hopefully there is going to be room for improvement.”
Update noon Thursday, April 7: Jeff Brantley assures me that he's returning to the Reds TV team for a 16th season this year, after his name was left out of Bally Sports Ohio's media release announcing its 2022 Reds TV season coverage plans and broadcasters.
"I am doing TV this year as I have done every single year but you surely wouldn’t know it by what they sent out," Brantley said when I asked him about being omitted from the TV announcement. I had asked if he was going to do radio exclusively after 15 years on TV and radio, or if he had been dropped from TV because the club added Barry Larkin last year to rotate in the analyst role with Brantley and Chris Welsh.
"Your reaction is the same as I get from a lot of folks. Thanks for noticing," Brantley says.
A Bally Sports Ohio publicist says that Brantley's "omission in the press release was unintentional."
Original post at 2:19 p.m. April 6: For the first time in many years — or quite possibly ever — the Cincinnati Reds season opening game will not be telecast by the Reds TV rights' holder.
The Reds-Braves game in Atlanta at 8 p.m. Thursday will air exclusively on ESPN2. It's a rare road opener for the Reds, due to the owners' 99-day lockout during contract negotiations. Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio) will air a Blue Jackets hockey game instead of the Reds.
ESPN's exclusive telecast Thursday also means that Annie Sabo, daughter of the Reds' Hall of Fame third baseman Chris Sabo, won't make her debut as Reds Live co-host Thursday, as announced last month. Sabo, who grew up in Montgomery and previously worked for the Big Ten Network and Bally Sports North in Minneapolis, will co-host Reds Live until 6:30 p.m. Friday, immediately before the first Reds game on BSO.
Just two years ago, Fox Sports Ohio boasted that it would carry 159 of the Reds' 162 games. That can't be said this year as Major League Baseball spreads games over ESPN, FS1, TBS and its MLB Network, plus cuts a streaming deal with Apple TV+ and soon NBC's Peacock.
All 162 games probably will be on TV, but Reds fans will have to hunt for some of them or possibly subscribe to some services. And it's still a work in progress a day before the season starts.
So Bally Sports Ohio announced its 2022 Reds TV schedule this way: "All games of the Reds 162-game schedule not airing exclusively on a national platform will air on Bally Sports Ohio and the Bally Sports app starting with their game at the Atlanta Braves on April 8 with Reds Live pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m."
This we do know so far:
—The Reds will play on Bally Sports Ohio Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and for the Reds home Opening Day Tuesday.
—Tuesday's BSO coverage starts at 10 a.m. with a two-hour Reds Live Opening Day special, followed by the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade (noon), a 90-minute Reds Live pregame show (and simulcast at 2:30 p.m. by WKRC-TV) and the Reds-Cleveland Guardians game (4 p.m. simulcast by WKRC-TV). [Full disclosure: The 10 a.m. show will include a five-minute feature about my Joe Nuxhall: The Old Lefthander & Me book.]
—The Reds-Cubs "Field of Dreams" game from the cornfield movie set in Dyersville, Iowa, will air live on Fox Broadcasting (WXIX-TV here) at 7 p.m. Thursday, August. 11. Fox Sports also plans three other Saturday Reds' telecasts June 25, Aug. 6 and Sept. 10.
—On April 15, the Reds make their debut on the Apple TV+ Friday Night Baseball doubleheader playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles at 10 p.m., which will be available to anyone with internet access and not just Apple TV+ subscribers.
—As of now, the Reds are not on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball schedule through May 29.
Here's a look at your TV options for Reds games:
BALLY SPORTS OHIO
John Sadak, Barry Larkin or Chris Welsh will do every Reds game that's not exclusively on another national platform. Sam LeCure and Brian Giesenschlag again will co-host Reds Live before and after every BSO telecast, with Annie Sabo subbing for Giesenschlag "on select Reds game dates," BSO says. The network also has resumed its monthly Access Reds program.
From the release: "Reds programming airing on Bally Sports Ohio will stream live on the Bally Sports app and on ballysports.com 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."
Bally Sports Ohio is not available on YouTube, FuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV and Sling Blue, according tothis CNET chart.
ESPN's SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL
The Reds are not scheduled to appear on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball the first eight weeks of the season, which starts April 10 with the Red Sox vs. Yankees. From June 5 to Sept. 25, all of the games are "to be announced" except for two, the Cardinals- Phillies on July 3 and the Red Sox-Yankees on July 10. (In the 12 scheduled games, the Yankees play three times; the Phillies play four; and the World Champion Braves only play once.)
Fox Sports will carry Saturday games on both FS1 cable and on Fox Broadcasting affiliates, including WXIX-TV. FS1's schedule starts with the Red Sox-Yankees at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 9. Fox's regionalized Baseball Night In America over-the-air primetime games begin Memorial Day weekend with the Phillies-Mets, Cubs-White Sox or Dodgers-Diamondbacks.
In addition to the"Field of Dreams" game with the Cubs7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, the Reds will play three Saturday games on Fox: At the Giants 7 p.m. June 25, and at the Brewers at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 and Sept. 10.
TBS' MLB ON TUESDAY NIGHT
No Reds games are among TBS' first four MLB On Tuesday Night games, which start 9:30 p.m. April 12with the Padres at the Giants. There is no fixed time for the games. On April 19, the Braves at Dodgers starts at 10 p.m., while the April 26 Mets at Cardinals game begins at 7:30 p.m. The Dodgers play again, hosting the Giants at 10 p.m. May 3, the last game announced to date.
APPLE TV+ FRIDAY NIGHT BASEBALL
Apple TV+ will stream a Friday night doubleheader this season which will be available to anyone with internet access, not to only Apple TV+ subscribers, the company says. The season opens with the Mets-Nationals at 7 p.m. and Angeles-Astros at 9:30 p.m. On April 15, Apple TV+ carries the Rays at White Sox at 7 p.m. and Reds at Dodgers at 10 p.m. The streaming service also offers a live MLB Big Inning show featuring highlights and look-ins every weeknight during the regular season.
PEACOCK STREAMING SERVICE
Major League Baseball is nearing a deal with NBC's Peacock to stream Sunday games, some starting before noon EDT. The Peacock telecasts will be "exclusive to the streaming serviceand not available on MLB teams' respective regional sports networks (and thus, not MLB.TV either)," says Barrett Sports Media.
NBC also is expected to stream Monday and Wednesday games previously shown on ESPN, Barrett Sports Media reports.
OTHER STREAMING OPTIONS
The best overview I've found is CNET's guide to"MLB Streaming 2022: Watch Baseball Without Cable This Season."It has sections about the DirecTV stream, MLB.TV, ESPN Plus, FuboTV, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Apple TV+ and Sling TV.