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World Series will have earlier start time this year


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Continuing a trend of returning to earlier start times, the World Series schedule released Thursday features the earliest start time for a game since Game 6 in 1987: Game 3 will have a first pitch at 6:57 p.m., one hour earlier than last year’s start time for the Saturday game.

The series, set for FOX, will have 7:57 p.m. starts for Games 1, 2 as well as Games 5, 6 and 7 if needed. Only Sunday Oct. 31 will have a late start with the first pitch set for 8:20 p.m.

“The changes we made with FOX last year to start the World Series games earlier helped increase viewership including more young fans and we are optimistic that the earlier start time for Saturday’s Game 3 will keep us moving in the same direction,” Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said.

“We’ve said over the years that if advertisers were willing to support earlier starts at prime-time levels, we’d be able to begin games earlier,” said FOX Sports president Eric Shanks, noting that Chevrolet has stepped up support as a key sponsor.     

When the NL won the All-Star Game in July on Brian McCann’s two-out, bases-clearing double in the seventh inning, it gave the NL representative home-field advantage for the first time since 2001. The 2002 All-Star Game ended in a tie and Major League Baseball then decided to award the Series home-field advantage to the league that won the All-Star Game. The AL had the home field on an alternating basis in 2002 and has held it since because it has won the All-Star Game each summer till the Braves’ catcher delivered in July.

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