MLB playoffs on TV

Walter C

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I'm trying to understand the logic of scheduling both LCS games at the same time, and making people choose which series they want to watch. I would think it makes more sense to alternate between the 2 series and keeping both on network TV rather than having one of them on cable, or if they really have to be on the same day, it would be like a doubleheader.

I know that FOX is not happy that the Yankees are eliminated, who usually always bring extra drama. Plus Tim McCarver has a love fest with the pinstripes.

Does anyone know what the new TV deal will be with MLB?
 

john harshman

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logic - advertising money

its so fox doesn't take a hit in the ratings at 2 different time slots
 

Jason Seaver

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As to why they don't alternate - well, do you want the baseball playoffs to be as freaking interminable as basketball's? Not only could doing that push them into November, but it would change the competition, allowing teams to shorten their rotations.

As to why both at once rather than one in the afternoon and one in the evening, I imagine someone at News Corp figures this will net them more viewers at useful times - baseball viewership, even the playoffs, is relatively local, so they're better off having both games in prime time and doing well in their home markets than one on in the afternoon which doesn't do particularly well anywhere.

Of course, if either of the series are lined up so that games are being played in Oakland or San Diego, the logical thing to me would be to start one game at seven or eight o'clock local time, but I know east coast people complained like mad about staying up intil 2am when they did that during the ALDS in previous years.

As to the new MLB TV deal, it looks like we're stuck with Fox until something like 2012, with the major changes being that they'll start their Saturday game in April next year; I think there will also be a Sunday-afternoon national game on TBS starting next year, too. Hopefully McCarver will be retired long before then.
 

Walter C

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So that means no more Braves baseball on TBS, unless it's the "game of the week".
 

Jason Seaver

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From what I gather, that's been dropping in recent years anyway, as more games get shifted to Turner South. TimeWarner sees TBS as a national station, and the Braves games probably don't do as well outside the south now as they did before every other team was running all their games on cable and ESPN had national games of interest three times a week.
 

Patrick Sun

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This season, it was very rare to see the Braves on TBS (I get their HDTV feed OTA), so it's been yucky having to watch them on Turner South or Fox Sports South on my cable feed.
 

Jason_V

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I didn't understand that either. Why put two games on at the same exact time--not that I wanted an afternoon game, either (living in Detroit and all). At least have a day between each game, not the two or three in the NBA playoffs.

I loved Joe Buck explaining how to know which game was playing in your area tonight: Detroit and Oakland see that game on Fox; St. Loius and New York see their game on Fox. Everyone else: check your local listings. Completely out of whack.

It reminds me of a few years back when the NBA had 8 playoff games on the same night. TNT carried four and TBS carried the other four. Utterly insane.

As for the ratings, I always thought it was accepted a sporting event (outside the Super Bowl) would not do well, but the network used it as a promotional tool for their other shows.
 

Jason Seaver

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Well, sports programming would be a crappy way to promote their shows if people weren't tuning in to it. Fox expects these things to do well, which is why they shell out the dough.

As to why have two at the same time, first assume that 1 game per day during the LCS is unacceptable, and I think it is - teams could basically have a two-man starting rotation, so the alternatives are staggering the games or broadcasting them at the same time.

Staggering sounds good, but I think it only really works if one is a West Coast game. Otherwise, you've got one game starting at 4pm on the East Coast, which means it runs at 1pm in the West, making it very expensive daytime programming. Games that start at 5pm out West aren't ideal, but you'll at least get some eyeballs.

Also, ratings for baseball games vary much more by location than they do for, say, football. It's much more important to have a game of local interest running in prime time, and since most of the audience isn't going to watch seven hours of baseball on a weeknight, it's more important to get them the three and a half they want to see. If they disagree on which game should be shown, they can turn to FX. And the folks who really want to see both aren't going to stop watching baseball because of this tactic.

Or at least, I imagine that's the logic the folks who came up with the plan used. I more or less agree with it, myself - if the Red Sox were playing this fall, I'd rather see them be on after I get home rather than miss it because Fox figured more people around the country would rather see the NL game.
 

Ken_McAlinden

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One small piece of hopeful news is that a number of the Fox Sports local channels are starting to carry games in hi-def, although even in markets where they do, they don't necessarily have deals in place with all of the cable and satellite providers.

For instance, in Detroit, most of the Tiger home games carried by Fox Sports Detroit since the all-star break have been broadcast in hi-def. The only way to see them this way initially was if you were a DirecTV subscriber, and then a month or two ago, they became available to Brighthouse cable subscribers as well. Comcast cable and Dish Network subscribers never got any of these games. I don't know what's going on in the Atlanta market, but considering the popularity of the Braves, I presume that the locals will figure out a way to go hi-def before next season is over.

Regards,
 

EricW

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can someone explain why the Tommy Lasorda "watch the playoffs" commercials are being played DURING THE PLAYOFFS?
 

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