behind the scenes, I do wind up thinking about this kind of stuff quite a bit, and I am not surprised to hear this at all. From Variety:
A decision on whether to move up the start times for this year’s World Series will likely be made by July’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
That’s the word from insiders, who confirmed that Fox Sports and the MLB are hammering out plans to move World Series first pitches up by at least half an hour.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, first pitch in all Series games may come as soon as 7:50 p.m. ET – or 4:50 p.m. PT. (Coverage traditionally starts at 8 p.m., with first pitch between 20 and 40 minutes later.)
The article notes that such a move might upset fans on the west coast, but notes all the criticism about the games ending to late on the east coast, often after midnight. We hear that the MLB is sensitive to such criticisms.
One thing the article doesn’t bring up that sometimes gets commented on here (though not until October when the World Series airs) is the possibility of having World Series games during the afternoon on the weekends. That’s not likely to happen though. I think both MLB and FOX believe (and correctly) that if the World Series had to go up against college football on Saturdays and NFL football on Sundays the ratings would take a hit. As it is, Sunday games already compete with Sunday Night Football, but that’s only one national game rather than the several regional games it would compete with in the afternoon.