Broadcast Rankings: Radio and TV Master List

In the great American tradition of “belaboring the point,” the author presents here another installment in an ongoing consideration of baseball’s various radio and television broadcasts — a project, it should be said, that has been greatly aided by the efforts of our readership.

Against all odds, this post actually does add something to the conversation. In fact, it might be the most important addition, in that it comes closest to answering a question entirely relevant to consumers of over-the-air baseball — especially the sort who read FanGraphs.

On both the PC* and PlayStation 3 (and perhaps some other) versions of MLB.TV, it’s possible to select an audio feed to accompany the video of a selected game. The question that has often occured to the author — and very likely to many readers, as well — is, “Which audio feed is likely to best complement the video of this game?” Or, alternatively: “Which audio feed won’t compel me to perform acts of violence against my person?”

*Provided the NexDef plug-in — the efficacy of which is a different conversation — is installed.

Because few of us are likely to have anything resembling a working knowledge of all 61 English-language broadcast teams, answering that question has been a challenge. Through the broadcast-rankings crowdsourcing project, however, we have come closer to something like an answer — or, at least, have produced a frame of reference with which readers might then more easily draw their own conclusions about the league’s various broadcasters.

Here, for the benefit of the wide readership — and in a sortable table — is the complete master list of radio and television broadcast rankings:

Num Team Medium Votes Charisma Analysis Overall
1 San Francisco Radio 678 4.8 4.7 4.8
2 Milwaukee* Radio 101 4.9 3.9 4.8
3 LA NL (Home) TV 322 4.8 4.5 4.7
4 New York NL TV 276 4.6 4.4 4.7
5 San Francisco TV 233 4.7 4.4 4.7
6 Texas Radio 76 4.4 4.5 4.6
7 Cleveland Radio 40 4.5 3.8 4.5
8 Toronto Radio 323 4.3 4.2 4.4
9 Washington Radio 155 4.4 4.3 4.4
10 Philadelphia Radio 94 4.5 4.0 4.4
11 Atlanta Radio 131 4.4 4.1 4.3
12 St. Louis Radio 355 4.6 3.3 4.3
13 Houston TV 79 4.3 4.1 4.2
14 Tampa Bay Radio 84 4.1 4.0 4.2
15 Chicago NL Radio 65 4.2 3.7 4.2
16 Boston Radio 65 4.0 3.6 4.1
17 Detroit Radio 56 4.0 3.7 4.1
18 Boston TV 258 4.0 3.6 4.0
19 Oakland Radio 43 3.9 3.9 4.0
20 Baltimore Radio 27 3.9 3.3 3.9
21 Chicago NL TV 170 3.7 3.9 3.9
22 New York NL* Radio 124 3.7 3.8 3.8
23 Arizona Radio 24 3.5 3.8 3.7
24 Milwaukee TV 100 3.6 3.2 3.6
25 Cincinnati Radio 65 3.7 3.3 3.6
26 Colorado Radio 27 3.2 3.4 3.5
27 Detroit TV 92 3.6 3.0 3.5
28 Oakland TV 52 3.4 3.2 3.4
29 Tampa Bay TV 35 3.3 3.2 3.4
30 Kansas City* Radio 22 3.2 3.1 3.4
31 Minnesota* Radio 54 3.6 2.9 3.3
32 Seattle Radio 117 3.4 2.9 3.3
33 LA AL TV 85 3.4 3.2 3.3
34 Baltimore TV 101 3.4 3.2 3.3
35 Seattle TV 88 3.3 3.0 3.3
36 Houston Radio 35 3.2 3.2 3.2
37 Minnesota TV 100 3.5 2.7 3.2
38 Texas TV 51 3.0 3.1 3.1
39 Miami TV 37 3.2 3.0 3.1
40 San Diego TV 102 3.4 3.1 3.1
41 Cincinnati TV 117 3.1 3.2 3.1
42 Pittsburgh Radio 28 3.2 3.0 3.1
43 LA NL Radio 116 3.2 3.0 3.1
44 Kansas City* TV 24 3.1 2.8 3.0
45 Pittsburgh TV 74 3.1 2.9 3.0
46 Miami Radio 21 3.1 2.8 3.0
47 Arizona TV 259 3.3 2.7 3.0
48 LA AL Radio 21 3.0 2.7 3.0
49 New York AL TV 219 2.8 2.8 2.9
50 Washington TV 38 2.8 2.9 2.9
51 Cleveland TV 59 2.9 2.9 2.9
52 San Diego Radio 34 3.0 2.8 2.9
53 Chicago AL Radio 52 2.8 2.9 2.8
54 Toronto TV 414 2.8 2.7 2.8
55 Philadelphia TV 107 2.6 2.7 2.7
56 Atlanta TV 189 2.8 2.6 2.7
57 Colorado TV 51 2.6 2.6 2.5
58 St. Louis TV 110 2.4 2.1 2.3
59 New York AL Radio 173 2.3 2.0 2.1
60 LA NL (Away) TV 20 2.2 2.1 2.1
61 Chicago AL TV 255 2.1 2.2 2.0

*Denotes ranking for 2011 broadcast team. Broadcast arrangement has changed for 2012.

And here is a modified — but still entirely sortable — version of that list, including only the highest-ranked broadcast for each major-league club:

Num Team Medium Votes Charisma Analysis Overall
1 San Francisco Radio 678 4.8 4.7 4.8
2 Milwaukee* Radio 101 4.9 3.9 4.8
3 LA NL (Home) TV 322 4.8 4.5 4.7
4 New York NL TV 276 4.6 4.4 4.7
5 Texas Radio 76 4.4 4.5 4.6
6 Cleveland Radio 40 4.5 3.8 4.5
7 Toronto Radio 323 4.3 4.2 4.4
8 Washington Radio 155 4.4 4.3 4.4
9 Philadelphia Radio 94 4.5 4.0 4.4
10 Atlanta Radio 131 4.4 4.1 4.3
11 St. Louis Radio 355 4.6 3.3 4.3
12 Houston TV 79 4.3 4.1 4.2
13 Tampa Bay Radio 84 4.1 4.0 4.2
14 Chicago NL Radio 65 4.2 3.7 4.2
15 Boston Radio 65 4.0 3.6 4.1
16 Detroit Radio 56 4.0 3.7 4.1
17 Oakland Radio 43 3.9 3.9 4.0
18 Baltimore Radio 27 3.9 3.3 3.9
19 Arizona Radio 24 3.5 3.8 3.7
20 Cincinnati Radio 65 3.7 3.3 3.6
21 Colorado Radio 27 3.2 3.4 3.5
22 Kansas City* Radio 22 3.2 3.1 3.4
23 Minnesota* Radio 54 3.6 2.9 3.3
24 Seattle Radio 117 3.4 2.9 3.3
25 LA AL TV 85 3.4 3.2 3.3
26 Miami TV 37 3.2 3.0 3.1
27 San Diego TV 102 3.4 3.1 3.1
28 Pittsburgh Radio 28 3.2 3.0 3.1
29 LA NL (Away) Radio 116 3.2 3.0 3.1
30 New York AL TV 219 2.8 2.8 2.9
31 Chicago AL Radio 52 2.8 2.9 2.8

*Denotes ranking for 2011 broadcast team. Broadcast arrangement has changed for 2012.

And, finally, here are some notes:

• The biggest gap between a team’s radio and television broadcasters is 2.0, between St. Louis radio (4.3) and television (2.3)

• The smallest gap is just 0.035, between Seattle radio and television (both 3.3).

• The highest average score for a team’s radio and television broadcast was San Francisco’s combined overall score of 4.8.

• The lowest average score was for the Chicago White Sox, at 2.4 (with the New York Yankees close behind, at 2.5).

• As was noted last week, radio teams averaged an overall score about 0.5 points higher than television teams. While, on the one hand, that might suggest a bias in favor of the radio medium itself, it’s notable that the Pirates broadcasts — the members of which move freely back and forth between radio and television — received very similar scores (3.1 for radio, 3.0 for television), enough likely to be explained by error.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


31 Responses to “Broadcast Rankings: Radio and TV Master List”

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  1. P90 Rex says:

    Call the cops, because I’m about to throttle these rankings

    – Rex-Kwan-Do (Kansas City Royals TV)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ezb230 says:

      lol. he is annoying and such a weird fit for kansas city. with all the options out there at the cliche-spewing former player slot, why’d they pick him?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ezb230 says:

      i assume you were comparing hudler to the napolean dynmite guy, but i am going to go ahead and imagine hudler in zubaz flag plants from now even if you weren’t.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Dane says:

    As I stated in the TV thread, you guys realize that Len Kasper is part of the Cubs broadcasts, correct? I understand that Brenley is great at what he does, but Kasper might be the worst play-by-play guy, well, EVER.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. barney says:

    National broadcast teams next?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Trevor says:

      Yes, I’d like to have Buck and McCarver as a sort of “Mendoza line” against which to measure the scores earned by local broadcast teams.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. glassSheets says:

    “Belabor” is the dictionary.com word of the day today. Congratulations on using it in the first sentence.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Robert says:

    Despite what this data seems to indicate, I still hold that Vin Scully is the best of all.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • James says:

      Vin Scully is captured in LA NL Home TV… SF radio is also a great listen, can’t argue with it being on top.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Johnny Come Lately says:

      What do you mean despite? He’s the highest rated TV broadcaster.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ian R. says:

      Considering we’re talking about a difference of .1 of a point between Scully and the highest-ranked broadcast of any type, I don’t think you’re really contradicting the data.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bubba says:

      Vin is simply outstanding, in every way. His broadcasts flow easily. He has phenomenal story-telling ability. He loves the game. Has tremendous respect for the players and this is related beautifully as he relates the unique backgrounds and compelling stories of everyone who plays the game. He contextualizes the actions on the field on the field to give historical weight to player accomplishments. This is possible because he’s been doing it for 60 years. He literally has forgotten more about baseball than most any other broadcaster.

      He should have absolutely run away with the poll. There is no close 2nd.

      And I’m a Giants fan.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Brett says:

    In regards to your note about the Pirates it should also be said that the giants broadcasters move around depending on who’s broadcasting (NBC or CSNBA). Mike Krukow is the only one that doesn’t move, only doing color on TV but Kuiper, Miller and Flemming all move back and forth. They have a difference of only 0.1 between TV and Radio.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Todd Doug says:

    Jon Miller is awful. Is this supposed to be a joke?

    -16 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. ASAP Robbie says:

    I watched the Tampa Bay TV broadcast last night and thought Brian Anderson was awful. The play-by-play guy was fine but Anderson needs to go…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • diegosanchez says:

      I watch almost every Rays game and I think he does a good job. 1000% better than Kevin Kennedy

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. RéRé says:

    Glad to see the Indians radio broadcast team ranked 4th in their category. Tom Hamilton isn’t the most analytical guy around, but his passion and sense of humor are immense yet still far more understated than other announcers who try to accentuate those same attributes (ahem, ChiSox).

    “It’s a beautiful night at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario”… now if only we could get him to pronounce Carnegie correctly :)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Ronald says:

    Darling, Hernandez and Cohen are the most entertaining and by far most knowledgeable announcers I’ve ever heard. They play off each other in a way nobody else I’ve ever heard does. In those “boring” moments, they will crack you up. My opinion…and alot of NY Mets fans opinion I bet :)

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Wigs says:

      Hear, hear! Props to radio booth too. Howie & Josh are very entertaining and knowledgeable as well. I like Gary and Ron a little better overall, and Keith is tremendously entertaining, if not as contributory to analysis… but Howie’s passion is the greatest of them all (not to downplay Gary’s)…

      I think Howie & Josh have a better dynamic together than the SNY crew though.

      Both teams excel in entertainment & analysis, but I am more likely to go to SNY for analysis and radio for Entertainment.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Bill but not Ted says:

    Confused at Atlanta TV…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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