For Immediate Release, March 8, 2021
A number of long-time blind baseball fans are outraged over the recent announcement that Toronto Blue Jays games will be simulcast this season, a move they say represents nothing more than a “callous, cost-cutting move that will make both radio and TV fans very unsatisfied and that will have impact on their enjoyment of their favourite team’s games.”
While the Blue Jays have great announcers, the needs and expectations of radio listeners and TV viewers are very different.
“TV broadcasters do not provide detailed description of the action on the field, and often talk over some of the play that is going on.” said John Rae of Toronto. “Viewers can watch what’s happening on the field, and need and want less description, whereas radio listeners need more in-depth description, which they had come to expect from the Fan-590 over the past 44 seasons.”
“Simulcasting the games is unlikely to satisfy the different expectations of either audience,” said Marcia Yale, President of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians from her home in Huntsville, Ontario. “And this move is likely to take away some of the enjoyment that blind fans have come to anticipate,” added Yale.
“In an era where organizations are expected to reduce barriers and prevent the introduction of new barriers, this move will definitely create a new barrier,” says Dean Steacey of Gatineau, Quebec. “This move flies in the face of the Accessible Canada Act and will have a disproportionately negative impact on blind fans,” added Steacey.
Rae added “We are speaking out at this time to express our outrage over the Blue Jays decision, and to try to prevent this approach from being copied by other teams.”
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