April 13, 2008
Here's a story that'll warm the heart courtesy of Neil Best's Watchdog blog. Looks like Major League Baseball had their own Heidi / Preakness Stakes moment yesterday evening during the end of the Yankees-Red Sox game.
"Toward the end of the rain delay, Fox was told the game would resume at 8:25. (In fact, it ended up starting at 8:30.)
Fox then asked NASCAR to delay the start of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 from 8:45 to 8:53, figuring that would give it enough of a window to get in the end of the baseball game, and NASCAR agreed.
Joe Buck alerted viewers that the baseball game would be simulcast on FX from the moment it resumed, and would be the sole place to find the game as of 8:53. It turns out Fox is obligated by contract to show the entire NASCAR race on its broadcast channel and in every market.
Fox held on as long as it could, but when the race actually began at 8:55 it made the switch . . . alas, with two outs and a full count on Robinson Cano in the ninth!
Cano grounded out on FX while some viewers watched the beginning of the race and wondered what had happened."
We all remember last year when NBC switched Game 5 of the Senators-Sabres series (which was about to go into overtime) to Versus in order to show pre-race coverage of the Preakness Stakes. Now, granted there's a big difference between playoff hockey and the twelfth regular-season game between rivals, but the baseball game was in the ninth inning and Boston was just a run up.
I can't say I didn't crack a wry smile when I saw this happen (and I'm a Yankees fan) and thought of NBC's decision almost a year ago.
Now baseball (mostly New York and Boston) and hockey fans have a gripe in common.