Fox Sports 1, the new sports cable network launching in August, will join TBS in carrying the American League and National League Championships Series. In years past, those games would have aired on the regular ol' Fox Network with "The Simpsons" and "American Idol."
This move makes the World Series the only part of baseball's postseason on free TV.
The winners: Non-baseball watchers, the people who love "Bones" and "The New Girl" and the rest. They get perturbed because Fox pretty much stops airing new episodes in October, turning over its network to baseball. Now more Zooey Deschanel for everyone!
The losers: Baseball fans who either (1) don't have cable or (2) think baseball deserves network TV time because it's America's pastime. Being a pastime doesn't guarantee ratings, though, as recent history has proved. Last year's NLCS Game 7, for example, was beat in the ratings by both "The Voice" and "Dancing With the Stars" (aka shows that are on every week for a good chunk of the year).
If you're wondering: Only the NBA's Finals are exclusively on network TV. The preceding rounds are mostly on cable with a few ABC games mixed in. So it's similar to the new baseball plan. The NFL, of course, puts every possible second of playoff football on network TV, and sports fans watch it all.
NHL fans, meanwhile, don't even get all the Stanley Cup Finals games on network TV. In recent years, NBC has stashed a couple of the games on its national NBC Sports Network (previously Versus).
Take solace in this, baseball fans — at least Fox isn't sending you to FX to watch the World Series.
- American League