On Wednesday, ESPN announced it will exclusively air the World Champion Houston Astros’ season opener against the Chicago White Sox.
The Opening Night game will begin at 7 PM ET on Thursday, March 30th, and there will be an hour-long Baseball Tonight lead-in. That broadcast will feature the pregame ceremonies,, including the raising of the 2022 World Series banner.
MLB has a full schedule of games set for Opening Day, but airing the reigning World Champions at home was an easy choice for ESPN. Had the Phillies prevailed, the decision would have been far more difficult, as Philadelphia opens the season on the road against the Rangers.
There’s no immediate word as to whether or not ESPN will air multiple games on Opening Day. Last year, ESPN aired just one Opening Day game, the World Champion Braves’ season opener with the Reds (on ESPN2). The season started a week later than expected because of the lockout.