02/03/10 5:08 PM EST
FOX turns on lights for two Saturday nights
Interleague matchups to be played on network in prime time
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
For the first time in the network's 15 years of broadcasting Major League Baseball games, FOX has scheduled two nights of regular-season games as part of its 2010 Saturday schedule, according to a news release issued Wednesday by the network. These prime-time games are the first on national broadcast television for FOX since April 2004.
Depending on the region of the country, fans will be able to watch Interleague matchups of the Yankees-Mets, Red Sox-Phillies, Cubs-Rangers or Tigers-Dodgers on May 22. On the June 26 schedule will be Yankees-Dodgers, Red Sox-Giants or Cubs-White Sox.
Regional coverage for those games begins at 7 p.m. ET.
"We are looking forward to complementing our traditional Saturday afternoon national broadcast with a couple Saturday night games, a window we've been interested in for some time," said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business, in a statement. "FOX has been a terrific partner and has shown great flexibility in clearing affiliates, first for starting our World Series games before 8 p.m. and now for the two Saturday night windows."
The network will air 26 consecutive weeks of regular-season coverage, the 81st MLB All-Star Game from Anaheim, Calif., the National League Championship Series and the World Series.
The final two Saturdays of the regular season are designated as "wild card" dates, which allows FOX Sports to choose up to four games with postseason implications each day.
The back-to-back NL champion Phillies will have the team maximum nine MLB on FOX appearances. The defending World Series champion Yankees, along with the Red Sox, Cubs, Mets and Cardinals, will appear eight times.
"We've been thinking about taking a few of our afternoon dates to prime-time dates for quite some time now, and this season's schedule is so strong that the time seemed right," FOX Sports president Ed Goren said in a statement. "There is still no platform that has the reach of prime-time broadcast television."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.