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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

World Series needs to play day games



sleep.Major League Baseball and Fox announced the starting times for this year's World Series and while we knew all along that their would be no day games, it's another reminder of how disappointing it is that there are no day games. Eventually, baseball will wise up and figure out that they are losing current and future fans by starting games so late in the Eastern Time Zone. With the majority of games starting around 8 o'clock, you're looking at games usually ending well after 11 p.m. and, occasionally, after midnight -- long after school-aged kids have gone to bed and well after many working folks have fallen asleep in their recliners.

There's no secret as to why the NFL has become the most popular sports league in the country. The majority of games are played on Sunday afternoons when everyone of all ages has easy access. The biggest games of the year -- the playoffs -- are played early enough in the day for, again, all ages to be able to watch. Even the Super Bowl ends before the bedtimes of grade-school kids. Meantime, baseball continues to exclude its future clients. How many 8-year-olds are able to stay up to midnight to watch a baseball game? Heck, how many 38-year-old do?

Of course, baseball will say the reason for the late starting times is to be able to show the games in primetime in the East (thus, attracting higher ad revenue) and to not shut out the people in other time zones, particularly the Pacific. While it might be 8 p.m. in the East, it's only 5 p.m. out West. To start a World Series game at, say, 5 p.m. in the East would mean a 2 p.m. start out West. So it's clear that it wouldn't work during a weekday.

But how about playing during the day on the weekend? The NFL has already decided this year to go head-to-head with the World Series by scheduling a Sunday Night Football game up against Game 4 of the World Series. And, you wait and see, the NFL game will outdraw the World Series that night. So if baseball and football are going to go head-to-head, why doesn't baseball move its weekend World Series games to the daytime? Maybe in the short term, it's not good for business to lose that primetime ad revenue. And, for now, it can't be done because Fox carries the NFL on Sunday afternoons. But in the long run, Major League Baseball working its way back to the afternoon on weekends is the right and smart thing to do. After all, what good is showing games at night if, years from now, no one is watching?

Here is this year's tentative World Series schedule and you might notice that Game 3 has an earlier starting time than the others. It's just not early enough.

Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 27 -- 7:57 p.m. (NL city)
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 28 -- 7:57 p.m. (NL city)
Game 3: Saturday, Oct. 30 -- 6:57 p.m. (AL city)
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 31 -- 8:20 p.m. (AL city)
Game 5: Monday, Nov. 1 -- 7:57 p.m. (AL city)
Game 6: Wednesday, Nov. 3 -- 7:57 p.m. (NL city)
Game 7: Thursday, Nov. 4 -- 7:57 p.m. (NL city)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:17pm]


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