There’s no question that the National Football League is America’s most popular sport, and Major League Baseball doesn’t want baseball fans to have to choose between pro football and the World Series.
For the first time in 24 years, baseball’s World Series will open on a Tuesday (Oct. 21), according to the postseason schedule laid out by MLB on Thursday, a move that will considerably limit the number of times that baseball and pro football clash during the Fall Classic.
Under the previous schedule that started on a Wednesday and set its seventh game for a Thursday, there was the potential for four World Series games to go up against NFL action — two on Thursday (Games 2 and 7) and one each on Sunday (Game 4) and Monday (Game 5).
And in 2014, that would have meant baseball’s championship round would have opposed a “Thursday Night Football” game on CBS (featuring Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos), a “Monday Night Football” game on ESPN (featuring the popular Dallas Cowboys) and potentially a second “Thursday Night Football” game (this one on NFL Network only).
Instead, the new World Series schedule that starts on a Tuesday and sets its seventh game on a Wednesday means that only a Game 5 (if needed in the best-of-seven series) will go up against the NFL: opposite NBC’s juggernaut “Sunday Night Football” (on Oct. 26).