Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: Not to Get All Andy Rooney on You...

Not to Get All Andy Rooney on You...

by The Feed

Not to get all Andy Rooney on you but what's the deal with the end times for Major League Baseball games on television? By now everyone's pretty comfortable with the concept of DVR and Tivo yet every Yankee game on YES and every game on the Extra Innings package are slotted for three hours. That's obviously not a problem if you're watching the game live but for those of us who like to tape a game for future viewing it does create a problem. Now I'm familiar enough with the technology that I can rig it so taping goes on beyond the scheduled end of the show but how hard would it be to just schedule it so that's not necessary?

The average length of games is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The length of games has been a bugaboo with Major League Baseball for some time but this rant has nothing to do with that. If a game takes 165 minutes to play, then it takes 165 minutes to play. I can deal with that and obviously that would fit within the three-hour window with room to spare. Except that a game scheduled to start at 7:00 doesn't actually start at 7:00. The start times on tickets/schedules vary from team to team but none are right at the stroke of the hour or half-hour. Some are 7:05 or 7:10, others are 35 past the hour and the Dodgers are set to go at 40 past tomorrow night. Rarely, if ever, does the actual first pitch get thrown at that time, though. Figure an extra five minutes before the top of the first. That means that even an average length game is going to push right up against the edges, if not go over, of that time slot. A highly unscientific study (I looked at the box scores for the last two days) shows us that there were games ranging from 2 hours 22 minutes to 3 hours 31 minutes, not counting extra inning games or rain delayed contests.

There were four rain delays and/or extra inning games among the 30 played in the last two days. Seven of the remaining 26 went past the allotted three hours so you missed the ending if you weren't forward thinking enough to expand the taping time. 10 more of the games were longer than 2:45 and thus pretty likely to have been pushed out of the window depending on the exact time the game started. That's 17 of 26 for those of you who care and that seems like a fairly good estimate of any two days on the baseball calender. There are certainly more important issues in the world at large and even in the world of sports but is it so much to ask that the channels showing the games actually account for the amount of time it takes to actually play the game?

2 comment(s):

Ted said...

I have had the same issue with my digital cable, especially for the All-Star game, playoffs, & World Series. These games routinely exceed 3 hours and usually don't start until at least 30 minutes after the scheduled broadcast time (I don't think any playoff game has ended before 11 pm in over ten years). Yet the listings state the broadcast will last from 8 pm to 11 pm.

Forrest J. said...

Had this problem with the World Cup last summer. Friends and I were roadtripping, so we had family at our next destination record the game. Unfortunately, it went beyond the scheduled time so we only caught the first 4 minutes of bonus time. Missed PKs, Zidane, everything... had to watch online recap highlights. Devastating


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