2009 TV Schedule Released

In addition to the Anna Benson signing news, the Rangers also released their 2009 TV schedule. It’s available as a pdf download from the Rangers site (not the usual webpage story). You can grab it here. I’ve decided to comment on some of the text contained within the press release.
First off, they say “the majority of” Rangers games will be broadcast in HD this season. As this will be my first full season with an HDTV, I’m interested in that. I am curious to see what “majority of” means, as that could mean anywhere from 82-161 games. We shall see. They also have not announced what games are HD yet.

Texas Rangers local television rights holder FOX Sports Southwest today announced the team’s 2009 TV schedule. The 158-game local package includes an all-time high 133 games on FOX Sports Southwest, 24 over-the-air telecasts on KDFI My 27 in Dallas-Fort Worth

First off, the schedule says 158 game local package. The remaining four games are scheduled to be broadcast. One of them is on ESPN (May 3), and the other three are Saturday afternoon Fox National games (May 16, May 23, & Aug 8). So all 162 games are going to be on this year.
However, If I was viewing Rangers games on JUST rabbit ears (no cable or satellite), I’d be pissed at this. Of the 162, only 28 are on free over the air TV (24 on Ch 27, and 4 on Ch 4). Most of those are bunched towards the front end of the season, too. If you go look at my site’s schedule page, you’ll see the breakdown. Of those 28 over the air games, 7 are in April, 8 are in May, 7 are in June, zero in July, 1 in August, and 5 in Sep/Oct. It’s pretty stacked towards the early part of the season. On top of that, after May 26th, every single free over the air game is a Saturday. While this doesn’t affect me, if you’re an older viewer who does rely only on rabbit years, you’re moving to radio mostly, because you’ve just had a major dent put in your viewing.

Josh Lewin begins his eighth season as the television voice of the Rangers. He’ll be joined by former Rangers player and general manager Tom Grieve, who is back for his 15th season as analyst. Jim Knox returns for his 10th season as roving reporter on home games.

Tom Grieve is quite good. Lewin I’ve kind of cooled on lately. While I don’t actively dislike him like some of the other local fans do, I was kind of hoping Josh would take the San Diego job, and let Vic get promoted (although his new gig with MLB Network trumps this). Unfortunately, we are getting a 10th anniversary of Jim Knox. Ugh. I really really wish we wouldn’t have dumped Craig Miller and John Rhadigan for Knox. This means another season of “It’s the second inning, we go to Jim Knox”, or translated “It’s the second inning, reach for the Tivo skip while we talk to people in the Fox Box we couldn’t care any less about”.

John Rhadigan and Dana Larson host RANGERS LIVE with Ric Renner and Emily Jones reporting. RANGERS LIVE home game shows once again will originate from a set on the left field concourse level at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, giving fans attending games an opportunity to watch the live broadcasts in person.

Ric Renner is another guy that can go. He’s too hyper annoying, and most of the people he interviews have this look of “Can we please get someone else?” Rhadigan, Larson, & Jones are all fine. Renner is another use of the TiVo skip button. I do wonder about the post game show, though. They had Mark McLemore on for a lot of those. I saw him turn up as an in studio analyst with MLB Network this past week. I wonder if that’s his new gig.
The press release also talks about the ancillary shows they will be having again this season, including “Lunch with the Rangers”, “Rangers Live” (pre & post game), and “Rangers Insider”. In addition, there will be Rangers discussions on the Fox Sports shows “In My Own Words”, “Spotlight”, & “Under the Lights”.
Finally, if you’re not a Metroplex viewer, this news might be of interest to you:

Games on FOX Sports Southwest will be shown on cable and satellite television systems in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and parts of New Mexico. FOX Sports Southwest also has created a Rangers broadcast syndication network to distribute the 25 over-the-air games carried in Dallas-Fort Worth to television stations in the team’s outer markets. Participating affiliates will be announced later.

Make sure and check out the entire press release here (pdf download).