Baseball games may be televised 40 mins. earlier

A decision on whether to move up the start times for this year’s World Series will likely be made by July’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

That’s the word from insiders, who confirmed that Fox Sports and the MLB are hammering out plans to move World Series first pitches up by at least half an hour.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, first pitch in all Series games may come as soon as 7:50 p.m. ET – or 4:50 p.m. PT. (Coverage traditionally starts at 8 p.m., with first pitch between 20 and 40 minutes later.)

Although that may upset some viewers on the West Coast, the move would come in response to ongoing criticism that the games start too late, and then sometimes last well beyond midnight, on the East Coast.

In moving up the Series games, Fox would likely start its pre-game coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET — cutting into prime access time for stations. That’s why Fox affiliates are being consulted on the discussions — and will have to sign off on any agreement.

There is a plus side for stations: Games that go into the wee hours of the morning often force affils to scrap their late newscasts. That’s less likely to happen if Series games start earlier in the evening.

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