A Foxian blunder or a business decision

So Phil had another bad start
Moeller up; Molina likely to hit the DL

As we all know, Fox dropped the ball on Saturday night. With the Yankees-Red Sox game rapidly nearing a conclusion, Fox bounced baseball to FX, its cable entertainment network, so that a NASCAR race could start.

The transition was far from seamless, and fans were none too thrilled with the News Corp. network. From the AP:

The teams didn’t begin playing again until 8:30 after a delay of more than two hours. Announcer Joe Buck repeated several times that the game was being simulcast on cable channel FX and Fox would have to switch to the race at 8:53.

It appeared the network might be able to show both events in their entirety, but with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth, the Yankees’ Robinson Cano fouled off several pitches. At 8:55, Fox switched to the race in the middle of Cano’s at-bat.

The final two pitches of the 4-3 Red Sox win were shown only on FX, which is available in about three-quarters of the nation’s homes with televisions.

Bell said Fox hoped to show all of Cano’s at-bat instead of switching to the race earlier so the change would occur between hitters. “It wasn’t the smoothest transition, but our intentions were to try to finish on the network,” Bell said.

For Fox, this move was a simple business decision. NASCAR races receives ratings well above those for mid-afternoon baseball games. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that the network cut away from a one-run game with one out remaining. Fox apologized, but it rings a little false.

So Phil had another bad start
Moeller up; Molina likely to hit the DL
  • Count Zero

    Just to clarify though — I read that FOX didn’t have a choice. Their contract with NASCAR specifically states that they have to show that race in its entirety — from start to finish. So they had to cut over before the race started no matter what. Their MLB contract doesn’t have the same restriction so their hands were tied.

    In other words, it wasn’t even about ratings — it was a contractual clause which left them no choice.

    • Rich

      FOX would still be to blame for entering into a contract without exceptions for the affected markets, thereby risking the kind of embarrassment that I referenced in my other post.

    • owine

      The previous commenter is correct. Fox’s contract with NASCAR states they must show every race from start to finish without tape-delaying it in every market. Their hands were tied. They actually moved the start time of the race hoping to get the entire baseball game in. The race was scheduled to start about 20 minutes before it did. This is just a case of a bad break for Fox with such a long rain delay and in the end biting off more than they can chew when it comes to Saturday sports broadcasts.

  • Rich

    There is no way that they should have cut away in the New York and Boston markets.

    If Cano had hit a HR or the Yankees had staged a comeback, the blunder would have rivaled NBC ‘s (iirc, I was a kid) decision to cut away from a Jets/Raiders gain for the movie called “Heidi,” after which (again, iirc) the Raiders staged a last minute comeback win.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/11036-Ryan_Barry barry

    Thats why games on YES are so much better, no nuisances or pointless interruptions like ESPN and it’s constant sports updates during the game. Maybe I’m just a big YES fan.
    Oh yea, any news on whether or not Moeller was the call up?

  • andrew33

    few other notable starters, simple stats, era’s vary

    maddux 8-18 after 32 starts
    beckett 8-9 after 25, then in 2003 he was dominat in the postseason
    glavine 9-21 after 43 starts
    smoltz 14-18 after 41, decent era
    halladay 12-14 after 31 starts
    schilling – a mess his first few years

    lots of up and downs this year for hughes and i’m sure kennedy, hopefully they take their lumps early and are better as the season goes on, but it wont be surprising if it takes a year or 2

  • tshades

    No NASCAR race is entirely broadcast. there are plenty of commercial breaks during the 6 hours of driving in circles and the cars don’t stop for that. i think it is beyond ridiculous to cut away with 2 strikes just so that we don’t miss lap 2 of 480

  • Adam

    didn’t you all just switch to FX? sure, FX is only in 75% of houses that receive FOX, but seriously, is there anyone here that didn’t see the end of the game that wanted to?

    i would say the bigger problem with fox is that two saturdays ago (and many saturdays in the future) i couldn’t (won’t be able to) watch the yankees on my mlb extra innings package because fox owns the rights to all saturday days games. and while the yankee game was on, fox wasn’t even showing baseball at all! maybe someone should make a big deal about this, after all, which is worse, missing two pitches or an entire game?

  • Chris

    I dont get why this is news. It was annoucned many times that they were switching over. They had a contractual obligation with nascar. And nascar even pushed back its start time just to accomodate the game. All that was missed was one pitch and Cano was out anyway. You cant plan for a 2.5 hour rain delay. So Fox should have broke contract and pissed off a whole bunch of nascar fans or miss one pitch which was simulcast on FX. They had no choice i dont blame fox they have to do what they have to do.