via FOX Sports press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOX AND MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TO MOVE UP START TIMES FOR WORLD SERIES AND AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
— First Time a Regularly Scheduled Weeknight World Series Game
Will Start Before 8 p.m. Eastern Since 1971 —
NEW YORK – The 2009 World Series and American League Championship Series on FOX will start before 8 p.m. ET on weeknights, it was announced today by FOX and Major League Baseball.
The last time a regularly scheduled World Series game on Monday through Friday started before 8 p.m. ET was 38 years ago when the Baltimore Orioles faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 5 of the 1971 World Series.
The FOX pre-game show will start at 7:30 p.m. ET for weeknight games with first pitch scheduled for 7:57 p.m. ET. Games on Saturday will start no later than weekday games and could start earlier. Games on Sunday will take place following the conclusion of the NFL on FOX as in year’s past.
“Our goal is to schedule games to allow the largest number of people to watch and this change puts our games in the window we believe will work the best for our fans,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “We appreciate the work that FOX has done to make this happen and I expect that fans of all ages will respond favorably to this adjustment.”
“Prime time postseason games on FOX have always been scheduled for a window that maximizes the potential audience from coast to coast,” said FOX Sports President Ed Goren. “The fact is that over the last few years, games have been ending a bit later than we’d like. This new schedule, made possible through the cooperation of our stations, affiliates and Major League Baseball, should help fans of all ages see weeknight games from start to finish.”
The World Series will now have the earliest start time of any U.S. major sports championship excluding the Super Bowl.