FOX Ramps Up Primetime MLB Action, But Airs Fewer Games Overall

Posted by | February 15, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Major League Baseball will get primetime exposure on broadcast television for two solid months during the 2012 season, though the total number of games on FOX will be the lowest since 2006.

FOX will televise twenty-four Major League Baseball telecasts during the 2012 regular season, a full third of which will air in primetime.

For eight straight weeks — from May 19 to July 7 — each MLB telecast on FOX will air in primetime and feature either five or six regional games. This is the third straight season FOX has aired primetime regular season coverage. The network aired two primetime telecasts in 2010, and three straight weeks of primetime coverage last season.

The increased primetime slate hearkens back to The Baseball Network of the mid-1990s, which featured primetime regional coverage on ABC and NBC. Average ratings for regular season action on The Baseball Network in 1994 and 1995 were substantially higher than regular season ratings in any subsequent season.

The twenty-four total weeks of FOX coverage marks a slight reduction from the previous five seasons (twenty-six per year).

FOX will take two weeks off in early August to avoid competition with the 2012 Summer Olympics, a move that should help the network avoid the extremely low numbers suffered during the 2008 Olympics.

(Wednesday’s news from Fox Sports Media Group press release via Fang’s Bites; of note, Awful Announcing first reported this a week before the FOX announcement)