As this is the first year of Fox Sports 1’s involvement with the MLB League Division Series, the network without a widely distributed second channel has to rely on a piecemeal way in case of overruns.
When TBS had all four LDS, it could rely on TNT when a game ran over and as most cable systems carried both channels, fans rarely missed any action.
And in the case of having four games in one day like Friday, Turner would sometimes schedule three games on TBS and on TNT. Windows were scheduled for three and a half hours. That was the case for San Francisco-Washington and St. Louis-Los Angeles on Fox Sports, scheduled for 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET.
But on the first day of the LDS in Fox Sports 1’s young history, it had an overrun in its very first game. As Giants-Nats ran over its allotted 3½ hour timeslot, Game 1 of Cards-Dodgers was beginning and viewers were told the start of Cardinals-Dodgers would be on Fox Sports 2 and MLB Network.
Now here’s the problem. Fox Sports 1 is available in over 87 million homes, Fox Sports 2 is in significantly less households, as of the beginning of 2014, in just over 36 million. MLB Network is in about 70 million.
So when Cardinals and Dodgers fans wanted to find the start of the game, they saw Giants-Nats still on the air likely without a way to watch Fox Sports 2 or scrambling to find MLBN.
And for those who were able to find Fox Sports 2 on their systems, some only had the network in Standard Definition. In this day and age, that is inexcusable. As consumers, we expect to watch television in crystal clear HD and when a channel is in 20th Century SD, it’s a slap to the senses.
Perhaps Fox can use the overruns as way to improve the distribution for Fox Sports 2 in 2015, but right now fans will have to put up hunting for channels they don’t have or perhaps located on a high channel position.
The whole issue of the young Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports 2 combo is growing both to the point where they are as widely distributed as the ESPN Family of Networks (i.e. ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU). Having live sports events will help the demand for FS1, but in the meantime, it’s going to be tough sledding for fans to find exactly where the MLB overruns are and hope they can see all of the games without having to depend on a scorecard and channel guide.
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