What’s the :07 all about anyway?

October 6, 2009

The Baseball Post-season is finally here and once again my beloved Dodgers are in the thick of things, kicking off their Divisional Series against the Cardinals. Game 1 is Wednesday night October 7 at 6:37pm PST…

6:37pm PST? 6:35 wouldn’t work? And Thursday it is a 3:07pm start time. What’s with the :07 anyways?

The bigger question is simply the playoff schedule itself. The way MLB schedules games is precisely what’s wrong with baseball in the first place and why Football and Basketball are more popular in America today. The Dodgers are in one of the biggest baseball markets (and biggest TV markets period) and yet game 2 on Thursday of the series starts in the middle of the work day? Baseball’s desire to get every game on TV is penny-wise and dollar-foolish. MLB is losing out on audience because most of LA will have to work and won’t be able to watch game 2, or at least not the first 6 innings. And the same goes for all of the teams in this year’s playoffs.

What baseball SHOULD do, is allow more than 1 game to be on at the same time. Only a small audience really cares about watching each and every game anyway, and so they need to maximize the audience for the fans of the teams in each series. St. Louis, the Dodgers 1st round opponent is 2 hours ahead of the West Coast, so why not start each game at 5:15pm PST/7:15pm CST and both markets can watch the game? I’ll catch the Yankee/Twins and Rox/Phils highlights on SportsCenter. Instead, game 1 at 6:37pm LA time, means a lot of little kids won’t still be awake to see the Dodgers beat the Cardinals in game 1 (or if they are, they will be half asleep for school the next day).

Baseball is greedy, and nothing proves it more then looking at the start times of the games. Wake up baseball and start focusing on your REAL audience, not your perceived audience.

I’m lucky – I make my own schedule and I won’t miss a pitch of the Dodger games this week. Not everyone is in my situation though and now there are multiple losers… the fans who can’t watch the game because it is on too early or too late, and baseball who is losing out on audience.

As long as the Dodgers don’t lose, I’ll still be happy.

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