The two-month-old ball game that aired in Cuba over the weekend may have been the first time in more than 50 years that a Major League Baseball game has aired in its entirety on state-run media, but it is not the only source of MLB action for Cubans. Since April 2004, TV and Radio Martí have aired regular and post-season games for audiences on the island.
The June 30 broadcast of May 2 game featuring the Washington Nationals vs. the Atlanta Braves – neither of which has Cuban players on their roster – highlights the severity of media restrictions in Cuba.
“This demonstrates the extent to which the government in Havana will go to control information on the island,” said Carlos Garcia Perez, director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which operates TV and Radio Martí. “In a country where even baseball is censored, citizens cannot expect to get the news and information they need. It is just another example of why our work is so important.”
In addition to news reports, documentaries and specials, the Miami-based Martís air three MLB games per week as a part of its comprehensive programming which provides accurate and reliable information to the citizens of Cuba, a country that consistently ranks near the bottom of press freedom indices.