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Home Maury Brown With More FOX Primetime Games, MLB Blackout Policy Puts on the Shift

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With More FOX Primetime Games, MLB Blackout Policy Puts on the Shift PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 17 February 2012 13:22

Your 2012 MLB season is right over the horizon. With right about a month-and-half till Opening Day, you’re getting ready to sit down and soak up games on whatever platform you’ve got, be it television, computer, or mobile device.

If you’re a real baseball junkie, you’re getting ready to load up on MLB Extra Innings (television), MLB.TV (computer, mobile) and/or At Bat 12 for mobile. Many (this author included), will weigh into all of them.

So, it was important Weds when national broadcast partner FOX Sports announced its plans for the upcoming season. Now in their 17th season with baseball, FOX announced that for the upcoming season they will air eight consecutive primetime dates, the most ever scheduled during the regular-season. According to FOX, primetime coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET on those select nights and kicks off on Saturday, May 19 and continues into June where primetime games culminate on Saturday, July 7.

If you’re one of those that is preparing to plunk down money for those out-of-market packages we mentioned, the move to primetime by FOX has implications as to what games you may, or may not be able to see on Saturdays. That’s because FOX has what is called a national exclusivity agreement with MLB. What that means is, during a pre-defined window, all games on MLB Extra Innings and via MLB.TV are blacked out. With the added primetime games, that window shifts.

When FOX airs Saturday day games, they have exclusive rights for games that have a scheduled start time of 1:10 PM ET or before 8:00 PM ET. According to the league and FOX, with the increase in primetime games, that will shift from between 7:00 PM ET and 10:00 PM ET for the 8 games on the slate during that time period. That means that West Coast games that have start times at 7pm or 7:10pm PT will not be impacted by the blackout policy.

So, how does it play out?

Looking at the schedule for May 19, the first Saturday that FOX will air in primetime, 8 day/afternoon games will not be impacted by the shift in the blackout window. Six games, however, will. Depending on where you live, these are the games that FOX will be airing that day. You will be getting hit with the blackout with all the others not aired on FOX in your area:

May 19, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

  • Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
  • Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
  • Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
  • Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals
  • Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals

Once those games have ended, the blackout should be lifted by your cable operator and these two night games on the West Coast will be available via MLB Extra Innings or MLB.TV:

  • Angels at Padres (10:05pm ET)
  • Cardinals at Dodgers (10:10pm ET)

So, it’s a sliding scale. You get hit with the national blackout, just in a later window. That’s good news if you’re sitting down on May 19 and want to catch the interleague matchups between the Reds and the Yankees or the Mets and the Blue Jays.



(Note: Schedule Subject to Change)


April 7, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


April 14, 2012 (12:30 PM ET)

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at New York Yankees

Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins


April 21, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners


April 28, 2012 (12:30 PM ET)

Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins


May 5, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants


May 12, 2012 (12:30 PM ET)

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Texas Rangers

New York Mets at Miami Marlins


May 19, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies

Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs

Texas Rangers at Houston Astros

Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks at Kansas City Royals


May 26, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals

Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Seattle Mariners


June 2, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers

Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres

Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros


June 9, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

New York Mets at New York Yankees

Cleveland Indians at St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners

Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins

Kansas City Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates


June 16, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets

Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays

Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers


June 23, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

New York Yankees at New York Mets

Atlanta Braves at Boston Red Sox

Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles

Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

San Francisco Giants at Oakland Athletics

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox


June 30, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers

Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers

San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies

Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins


July 7, 2012 (7:00 PM ET)

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox

Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers


July 10, 2012 (8:00 PM ET)

2012 MLB All-Star Game from Kansas City


July 14, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs

Philadelphia Phillies at Colorado Rockies


July 21, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


July 28, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves


August 18, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees

San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres


August 25, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds

Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants

Minnesota Twins t Texas Rangers


September 1, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Seattle Mariners


September 8, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants

Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox


September 15, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres


September 22, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Wild Card


September 29, 2012 (3:30 PM ET)

Wild Card

Source: MLB on FOX

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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