Sep
30

For the right price, earlier World Series starting times

By

For years, baseball fans have urged Fox to start the World Series earlier, and the network has mainly turned a deaf ear to those calls. This year, though, Fox has finally agreed to push back the start of the Fall Classic to times more conducive to East Coast viewing because they have the money to do so.

The network announced today new start times for the World Series. The schedule looks a little something like this:

Game Date Host First Pitch
1 Wed. 10/27 NL 7:57 p.m.
2 Thur. 10/28 NL 7:57 p.m.
3 Sat. 10/30 AL 6:57 p.m.
4 Sun. 10/31 AL 8:20 p.m.
5 Mon. 11/1 AL 7:57 p.m.
6 Tue. 11/3 NL 7:57 p.m.
7 Wed. 11/4 NL 7:57 p.m.

Only one game — the Sunday night match-up — will air at 8:20 while most will start just before 8 p.m. and one begins at the perfectly reasonable hour of 7 p.m. That Game 3 start time is the earliest first pitch since Game 6 of 1987 World Series.

So why the early start time? Well, last year, baseball tried the 7:57 p.m. starts and found they not-so-shockingly increased viewership. “The changes we made with Fox last year to start the World Series games earlier helped increase viewership including more young fans, and we are optimistic that the earlier start time for Saturday’s Game Three will keep us moving in the same direction,” Bud Selig, baseball’s commissioner, said.

Fox execs had another reason behind the switch. Fox Sports President Eric Shanks explained: “We’ve said over the years that if advertisers were willing to support earlier starts at prime time levels, we’d be able to begin games earlier.”

We’re not blind to the fact that baseball is a business and that Fox and MLB want to cash on the game’s jewel event at the end of the season. Make no mistake about it though: This timeshift, while better for fans, is all the money.

Categories : Playoffs

23 Comments»

  1. Mark says:

    Is there a day off after game 5, schedule has game 5 as 11/1 Monday, and then game 6 Tuesday 11/3, was 11/2 wiped off the calender this year?

  2. Yank the Frank says:

    Pretty soon the World Series will become a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Can’t wait.

  3. Big Stein says:

    Show ME da $$$$$$$

  4. Sheepmeister says:

    Are we sure the increased viewership wasn’t the time but actually the yankees playing.

  5. Big Stein says:

    Looks Frisco is going to the playoffs for the first time in 8 years.

    Lincecum vs Halladay will be interesting.

  6. Better for fans, better for baseball… can’t complain. As long as the games start after 6 PM EST I’m good.

  7. Kiersten says:

    Booooo, looks like I’m going to be watching all but one of the game while I’m working :(

  8. vin says:

    I usually work till 6 pm (pacific time), so I’m used to games starting when I’m at work. No big deal. XM at work, then XM in the car, then Extra Innings at home. I’m covered.

    I don’t usually get to watch any of the action until the 5th or 6th inning though, which means that I didn’t get to see Nova pitch live until his 4th or 5th start. And I rarely get to watch AJ pitch.

  9. Sean C says:

    There are times where I hate working second shift, and that WS schedule is one of those reasons. Assuming the Yankees make it to the WS, I might become stricken with illness mid-shift once or twice during possible title clinching games (I did this last year, as well). Yet another friendly reminder that I need to find a new job, haha…

  10. Brian in NH says:

    I would absolutely love a day game for the world series, especially if I lived close enough to go to the game. However, they won’t do a day game during the week.

    (understandable, everyone is at work, and since real patriots work unlike those commie socialist bastards overseas who take time off from work to watch world cup, few people would watch the game except america’s radical leftists and those suckling from the welfare teat. They have no money, they wouldn’t buy anything anyways so theres no reason to advertise to them)

    MLB doesn’t want to compete with NCAA or NFL football on saturday or sunday day games (i doubt fox would even consider doing a sunday day game for the world series)

  11. sterlinghater says:

    MLB f’ing the west coast viewers. What’s new.

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