The New York Yankees were furious when the worldwide leader of sports ESPN decided to air their July 8th game against the Blue Jays for their Sunday Night Baseball broadcast because of the team’s scheduled doubleheader the next day in Baltimore.
This thing happens all the time with the major leagues and it can be frustrating for fans when networks can change the time of the game based on which game will give them the best ratings.
ESPN didn’t or care about how hard it would be for the Yankees to play the night game, hopefully avoiding extra innings, and then fly to Baltimore to play two games the next day. They were merely looking at the ratings they would get airing the game.
So the Yankees threatened that if ESPN didn’t pick a different game no one from the organization would speak to their broadcasters for the rest of the season. Which is the best kind of threat a team can issue for a network like ESPN because of how many different shows they have were Yankees players could make an appearance, especially if something really spectacular happens.
The Yankees won the battle, ESPN announced yesterday that they will air a different game that day thus allowing the Yankees game to play at its 1 pm start time.
Who knows if this will have any effect in other leagues with networks or if this was merely a one-time thing. But kudos to the Yankees for sticking up for themselves.