Baseball Delays FOX College Football Debut in Top TV Markets

Posted by | September 1, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Fox Sports did not get off to the smoothest start for college football coverage Saturday.

Coverage of a Cardinals/Nationals Major League Baseball game on FOX delayed the network’s college football season debut in a variety of markets Saturday.

The Cardinals/Nationals telecast, which ran long by 39 minutes, aired in 65% of markets — including top ten markets New York (#1), Chicago (#3), Dallas (#5), San Francisco (#6), Boston (#7), Washington (#9) and Houston (#10).

In those markets, the game completely preempted the much-hyped FOX college football pregame show with host Erin Andrews.

Though pregame coverage was wiped out by baseball, Cardinals/Nationals ended in time for the start of the Hawaii/USC game.

  • Ben

    I remember back in 2007, when a NYY/BOS baseball game ran long, FOX moved the baseball game to another channel and aired the start of a NASCAR race on the main channel. You (Paulsen) wrote something along the lines of ‘Fox has to show NASCAR races in full in every market’.

    1) It’s only been one week so it may be too soon to tell, but on days when FOX airs baseball and college football on the same day, does baseball pre-empt football, or the other way around? How about playoff/World Series games?

    2) Can FOX convince MLB to move their games to 3PM (eastern) in September to reduce the chance that the baseball games run long and delay coverage of the football games?

    -Ben

    • Paulsen

      I believe NASCAR has language in their contract with FOX mandating that the network carry the full race, starting from the green flag. I don’t know if that is the case with the FOX college football contracts.

      As far as future years, I would imagine that September baseball games on FOX will start a little bit earlier next season. As someone pointed out to me on Twitter, however, there could be a conflict with syndicated college football games. In my experience, several local FOX affiliates carry Noon ET ACC and SEC games.