It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing. The wind has that crisp, cool feel in the morning. Football is reestablishing itself as the premiere American sport. And baseball playoffs have begun. Per the usual, there are grumblings about the scheduling of the opening round of the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Imagine that you are baseball. Not the commissioner, just a human embodiment of the sport itself. You dominate the airwaves and sports talk shows with non-stop games since the Warriors upset the Mavs in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. There are games every single day and five out of seven days a week, every single team is playing. Regular season scheduling can take place whenver you want. Day Game? Sure. Night Game? Sure. Doubleheader? Sure. Games in April with the potential for snow in Boston, New York, and Cleveland? Sure. West Coast game the day after playing on the East Coast in Sunday Night Baseball against your biggest rival? Sure. You have no limits, no rules, no regulations when it comes to scheduling.
That’s why it is no surprise that when baseball sells its opening round of the playoffs, it gives the broadcaster full reign to schedule the games whenever they want. Well, the broadcaster has very different goals than baseball or its fans. Thus, conflict. The broadcaster (this year it is TBS, but ESPN has been just as guilty if not more so of this kind of chicanery) wants to maximize revenue, particularly catering its big games to the big markets. But beyond that, it wants to make sure that televisions are turned to TBS for the maximum amount of time. The result is our incredibly stretched schedule, where everyone is scrambling home for the early games, while no one is watching the prime-time games. Read More