February always means the start of a particularly happy season for me and other free-to-air satellite viewers – Spring Training baseball season. Regular-season games are always scrambled or handled through terrestrial pipes, but plenty of the February and March exhibition games are freely available as they’re beamed back from Florida and Arizona.
For example, today I checked on Rick’s Satellite Forum for likely game candidates. I had my choice of Toronto vs. Philadelphia, Atlanta vs. the Mets, Tampa Bay vs. the Orioles (pictured), and later the Angels vs. Oakland. And that’s just for this first day of intersquad games; the list typically grows longer as February turns to March.
As with most sports wild feeds, these FTA satellite broadcasts usually forgo commercials, substituting candid shots of the field, or the crowd, or the next set of graphics they plan to show when the game resumes. It’s part of the fun to be able to peek behind the scenes like that.
As construction equipment jackhammers the street by my office and the temperature outside struggles to stay above freezing, it’s great to be able to glance over at my satellite monitor and see palm trees, short-sleeve shirts, and baseball. It’s going to keep me happy over the next few weeks.