Sox considering bumping up game times

sodenj5

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https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2022/10/red-sox-considering-earlier-start-times-for-fenway-park-night-games-in-2023.html

I don’t think that many would be against this. I personally end up missing the end of a lot of games just because I pass out before they end. If anything I’d rather be catching the ends of games rather than the beginnings
Surprised a change like this hasn’t been made much sooner. 10-10:30 is late for a game to end.

I suppose the 7pm start time was maybe to accommodate fans getting to the game after work, but any time I go to a game, I typically either take a half day or the day off anyways.

Don’t think players would object to the getting out a little earlier either. Seems like a fairly universal win.
 

Rudi Fingers

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I went to a 6pm NL West game this year and couldn’t stop thinking about how nice the earlier start time would be at Fenway, especially for early and late season games in cooler weather. As sodenj was saying, the main detriment would be for people who work in standard “8:30 to 5:30” jobs who go to a lot of games and want to arrive in time for the first pitch. How many people fit that profile anymore?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I went to a 6pm NL West game this year and couldn’t stop thinking about how nice the earlier start time would be at Fenway, especially for early and late season games in cooler weather. As sodenj was saying, the main detriment would be for people who work in standard “8:30 to 5:30” jobs who go to a lot of games and want to arrive in time for the first pitch. How many people fit that profile anymore?
Not just that, but people being able to use PTO and leave an hour early is an option as well.
 

Ale Xander

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Traffic/parking is bad enough as it is. Dead set against 6:10 (other than perhaps August)
 

Bongorific

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I went to a 6pm NL West game this year and couldn’t stop thinking about how nice the earlier start time would be at Fenway, especially for early and late season games in cooler weather. As sodenj was saying, the main detriment would be for people who work in standard “8:30 to 5:30” jobs who go to a lot of games and want to arrive in time for the first pitch. How many people fit that profile anymore?
IIRC, the team said the prior switch from 7:05 to 7:10 was to provide fans extra time to get to the park and in their seats after work for first pitch. But, we instead assumed it was a cash grab to fit in another pre-game commercial break.

The ideal start time Is wherever you are in life. As a college student, I freakin loved west coast trips when I could get all of my homework done by 10 and then watch the game uninterrupted. As a young working professional, 7:05 was fine; I would get home at 6:30 and have dinner and a beer ready for first pitch. As a parent with young kids, I wish the games started at 6:30 so I could get my kids to watch a couple of innings before bed in my ongoing effort to indoctrinate Boston sports fandom on them.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Obviously, the Sox studied this and decided it was a revenue-positive decision, but I’m pretty surprised. I’d think earlier start times would have a clear negative impact on TV ratings. PUTs are significantly higher at 7p than 6p…and the 10p hour is tons high than the 6p hour.

And. It especially murders pre-game ratings. Is postgame more lucrative than pregame?

Finally, as to convenience, those PUTs measure viewer availability, meaning it’s generally less convenient to have an earlier start. And if you focus on young adult viewers (18-34), it’s more pronounced.

I think this is a great move for little kids and old farts (55+). So…works for me I guess
 

The Napkin

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Obviously, the Sox studied this and decided it was a revenue-positive decision, but I’m pretty surprised. I’d think earlier start times would have a clear negative impact on TV ratings. PUTs are significantly higher at 7p than 6p…and the 10p hour is tons high than the 6p hour.

And. It especially murders pre-game ratings. Is postgame more lucrative than pregame?

Finally, as to convenience, those PUTs measure viewer availability, meaning it’s generally less convenient to have an earlier start. And if you focus on young adult viewers (18-34), it’s more pronounced.

I think this is a great move for little kids and old farts (55+). So…works for me I guess
6:00 games means fans might be more likely to skip pregame dinner/drinks and eat/drink in Fenway.
 

Max Power

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They used to start all the April games at 6 so it wouldn't be quite so cold by the end of them. I'd like to see them do that again at least. But like Lose said, this is a weird thing to do right before the pitch clock comes in. It would be better to get a season of those game times in before thinking about what the ideal start is.
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

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Since I work nights, I love listening to the ballgames during my shift. The later into the night I have the Sox to distract me, the longer I have Castiglione talking in my ear, the better it is for me, especially since I'm already in the Central timezone.

But I understand why most would want earlier starts.
 

radsoxfan

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Unfortunately..... a 6:10 pm start mixed with a pitch clock means west coasters like myself will basically be at work for the entire game.

Fortunately, I'll just watch on my computer at work :)
 

Harry Hooper

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Obviously, the Sox studied this and decided it was a revenue-positive decision, but I’m pretty surprised. I’d think earlier start times would have a clear negative impact on TV ratings. PUTs are significantly higher at 7p than 6p…and the 10p hour is tons high than the 6p hour.

And. It especially murders pre-game ratings. Is postgame more lucrative than pregame?

Finally, as to convenience, those PUTs measure viewer availability, meaning it’s generally less convenient to have an earlier start. And if you focus on young adult viewers (18-34), it’s more pronounced.

I think this is a great move for little kids and old farts (55+). So…works for me I guess
If the games were to start at 6:45, does the pre-game show from 6:30-6:45 get really strong ratings? Alternatively, maybe people are so conditioned to the old start time that they tune in late and miss the first 20 minutes of the game (and miss the pre-game show entirely)? As the multi-year downscaling of NESN continues, maybe the ratings for pre-game and post-game shows are of very minimal concern.

IIRC, the closer the start time moves toward 5:00, the more problems the team has in getting gameday staff to get to Fenway and work the game. There would also be more entanglement with late afternoon congestion in the Longwood Medical Area as was mentioned in the old thread linked above.
 

Humphrey

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Matters little to me. I DVR the games and usually start watching about 8:30-9:00.
 

YTF

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If the games were to start at 6:45, does the pre-game show from 6:30-6:45 get really strong ratings? Alternatively, maybe people are so conditioned to the old start time that they tune in late and miss the first 20 minutes of the game (and miss the pre-game show entirely)? As the multi-year downscaling of NESN continues, maybe the ratings for pre-game and post-game shows are of very minimal concern.

IIRC, the closer the start time moves toward 5:00, the more problems the team has in getting gameday staff to get to Fenway and work the game. There would also be more entanglement with late afternoon congestion in the Longwood Medical Area as was mentioned in the old thread linked above.
The pregame already airs from 6:00 until game time. I really don't see much reason for that to change and condensing from 70 to 40 or 45 minutes shouldn't impact ratings. I'm also guessing that most of us are still sharp enough to make to recondition ourselves after tuning in late once or twice.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If they put the pitch clock in, is this necessary?

wasn’t this discussed a number of months ago?
I dunno, but as a sports fan... having Sox games start at 6 pm and end around 8:30 (if the pitch clock helped that much) would be great. It would allow me to watch the 2nd half of Celtics games. Or pretty much all of the Celtics games when they are in the playoffs. I'm sure others would love watching the 2nd half (half of period 2, all of 3) of the Bruins games.

Maybe they want the games to end quickly so we can watch the Pittsburgh Penguins.
 

rlcave3rd

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I went to several Sea Dogs games this season, which started at 6 pm. In combination with the pitch clock, the games were generally over by about 8:30. Even the longest game (a 13-9 final, or something like that) was done by 9 pm. I'm retired, so it is not a big deal to have to stay up later, but I still like the early ending time.

A few years ago, I took the train down from Portland to a game. The last train home was at about 11:15, so as the game went on I had to be concerned with whether or not I would be able to make it back to the station in time if I waited for the end of the game. Earlier start times and a pitch clock (or even just a pitch clock) would help this situation also.
 

Yaz4Ever

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I dunno, but as a sports fan... having Sox games start at 6 pm and end around 8:30 (if the pitch clock helped that much) would be great. It would allow me to watch the 2nd half of Celtics games. Or pretty much all of the Celtics games when they are in the playoffs. I'm sure others would love watching the 2nd half (half of period 2, all of 3) of the Bruins games.

Maybe they want the games to end quickly so we can watch the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It also helps build future fan base as younger kids can catch a full game rather than needing to miss the end. Never discount the added revenue involved in people spending more on food and drink at the park, as well.
 

Ale Xander

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It also helps build future fan base as younger kids can catch a full game rather than needing to miss the end. Never discount the added revenue involved in people spending more on food and drink at the park, as well.
I think it’s more important to move up playoff games (at lest those on ET) to 7:30 or 7:15 and have weekend WS games in the afternoons than regular season games to 6:10)
 

Cesar Crespo

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It also helps build future fan base as younger kids can catch a full game rather than needing to miss the end. Never discount the added revenue involved in people spending more on food and drink at the park, as well.
I don't think ratings will dip that much either. More people stay in nowadays. The pre game might take a hit, but the post game bump will probably offset that.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I think it’s more important to move up playoff games (at lest those on ET) to 7:30 or 7:15 and have weekend WS games in the afternoons than regular season games to 6:10)
That’d be great…but need to be respectful of visiting team fans (and the national TV revenue ascribed thereto) who may be in a different Time zone.
 

RobertS975

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While I would be in favor of games ending earlier than many currently end, I do see some significant issues with moving the start times earlier than 6:40PM because of parking issues on weekdays. Most Fenway lots do fill with commuters on weekdays, and they would be leaving the parking lots just as game fans were arriving.