The Rays are not going to be part of ESPN's lucrative baseball coverage as the 2015 season kicks off, it would seem:
ESPN Opening Day coverage, April 6 (All times ET):
ESPN's Sunday night schedule (All times 8 ET):
April 12: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
April 19: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals
April 26: New York Mets at New York Yankees
May 3: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
May 17: Detroit Tigers at St. Louis Cardinals
May 24: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
May 31: Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I noticed this after a cursory glance when some other SB Nation sites were mentioning their own coverage and got curious: how often does ESPN cover the Rays in the regular season?
The Rays were featured once by ESPN last season, July 6th against the Tigers. In 2013 it was the same story, one telecast against the Dodgers on August 11th. They were not featured on ESPN in 2012, if memory serves, and just once in July 2011 and July 2010, both against Boston. The team has not been featured twice on ESPN's regular season coverage since 2009.
In contrast, the Yankees will make five appearances in ESPN's first two months of regular season coverage, two of those against the Red Sox, the Tigers and Cardinals will appear three times each, and the Mets twice.
Teams not expected to be good, the Diamondbacks and Astros and Rangers and Reds, will also get spotlights. PECOTA projects each of those teams to be last or second to last in their division. The Rays, you might remember, are projected alongside Boston to lead the AL East.
The Rays are apparently just not good television. It could be worse, though. I don't believe the Athletics have been on ESPN's regular season coverage in any of the last eight seasons.