World Series schedule changed to avoid NFL competition on Sunday

World Series schedule changed to avoid NFL competition on Sunday

Major League Baseball has decided competing with the NFL is futile.

This year’s World Series will not have any Sunday games, for the first time since the World Series started being televised in its entirety in 1947. The reason is simple: Playing on Sunday means fighting for viewers with the NFL, and that’s a fight MLB can’t win.

As a result, this year’s World Series will start on Friday night and then have games on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, finishing up if necessary with games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. That means that even if the World Series goes seven games, the only game that will overlap with the NFL is Game Three, which will be played simultaneously with the Monday night Bengals-Browns game.

“Obviously, we didn’t want to go head to head with the NFL on multiple nights,” Bill Wanger, Fox Sports executive vice president and head of programming and scheduling, told USA Today. “If you said, let’s start the World Series on a Thursday, you’d potentially be going head-to-head with the NFL on four nights. It’s a giant jigsaw puzzle, but every event has its place, and we maneuver the various properties to maximize all of them.”

There was a time when the NFL altered its schedule to avoid competing head-to-head with the World Series, taking a Sunday night off and ceding it to baseball. But times change, and now all eyes are on the NFL, while the rest of the sports world tries to stay out of the way.