Why tonight’s Tigers game won’t be broadcast live
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like when not every Tigers game was available to watch on live television, or what it’s like to sit around the house and listen to a game live on the radio, this is your night, because the Tigers-Royals game won’t be broadcast live. It’ll be available live on radio through the Tigers network and online at MLB Gameday Audio. Then, Fox Sports Detroit will have its telecast on tape delay beginning at 10pm ET.
It’s not an FSD decision, but a conflict between the Royals home game schedule and the FOX network national blackout. As part of its Saturday night game package, FOX holds the exclusive broadcast rights for the 7pm window. So, any games going on around that time that FOX isn’t showing can’t be telecast live.
The Tigers have worked around this ever since FSD started picking up the entire schedule, changing their home game times on Saturdays for games that FOX doesn’t pick up. For other teams, especially those that don’t have their entire schedule on TV in the first place, it’s a different story. In Kansas City, there’s a value to having a night game on Saturdays in the hottest part of the summer, rather than a day game. FSKC, for instance, isn’t picking up the game at all.
(Update: ALL of Kansas City’s Saturday home games are 6:10 CT starts)
FOX and MLB have worked around this in past years. Back in 2011, when the Tigers were on the verge of clinching their first division title in 27 years, FOX added a Tigers-A’s game from Oakland for Detroit and Bay Area viewers just in case the Tigers had a chance to clinch that day (they ended up clinching the night before). For a Tigers-Royals game in July, even though it’s a matchup of the top two teams in the AL Central, it wasn’t getting added.
For what it’s worth, the game is listed on the MLB.TV schedule, which means it’s online and on MLB At-Bat for mobile devices. I don’t expect it to be shown live, though, even for viewers out of market.