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Blog Entry

Baseball needs common sense on Tiger TV issue

Posted on: September 13, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 2:08 pm
 
UPDATE: On Wednesday, according to MLB, Fox TV has decided to add the Tigers-A's game to its Saturday Game of the Week lineup. The game will not be shown nationally (Rays-Red Sox and Braves-Mets are the other two games), but it will be available throughout Michigan, and also in Toledo, Ohio.





What if the Tigers clinch their first division title in 24 years and nobody can watch it?

Welcome to baseball's next possible PR headache. Let's hope it's handled better than the Mets and their hats.

Here's the issue: The Tigers enter play Tuesday with magic numbers of five (to eliminate the White Sox) and six (to eliminate the Indians). They could clinch as soon as Thursday, if they keep winning and both rivals keep losing.

But they could also clinch on Saturday, when they'll be in Oakland for a 4 p.m. ET game against the A's -- a game that falls within the Fox exclusive national window, and thus can't be televised locally.

There is precedent for baseball and the national networks allowing teams to break the exclusivity window, in special circumstances. This would seem to fit.

Fox is showing two other games (Braves-Mets, Rays-Red Sox) at 4 p.m. Saturday. They could either add the Tigers game for the Detroit market, or simply allow their Fox Sports Detroit affiliate to show it.

As of Tuesday afternoon, nothing had been worked out, but you'd think it will be by Saturday, if the game matters.

Baseball doesn't need more bad PR. It was bad enough that the Mets weren't allowed to wear the 9/11 first responders' caps, for their Sunday night game against the Cubs.

The spin since Sunday has been that this was all about uniformity, and not about marketing (baseball is selling the American flag caps that all teams wore on 9/11, with a portion of the proceeds going to the 9/11 Memorial).

Uniformity is fine, but common sense is better. And common sense says baseball erred badly on this one.

Common sense says baseball will find a way to get Saturday's game on TV in Michigan, if the Tigers have a chance to clinch that day.

This time, baseball needs common sense to prevail.



Category: MLB
Tags: Mets, Tigers
 
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