MLB shifts Yankees vs. Red Sox game time to avoid conflict with NBA Finals

Aaron Judge during the game between Yankees against Red Sox, on august 14th.
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The fixture between Yankees and Red Sox game on Friday, the 14th of June has been moved forward to 6:30pm, as against the original time slated for 7:10pm. This change is to give room for fans to watch Celtics take on Mavericks in Game 4 of the NBA finals, which is scheduled for 8:30pm.

The big news initially came from the Boston media and was confirmed by MLB.

“We wanted to make sure fans can catch both games,” said the press release. “Go, Celtics!”

With the Celtics leading 2-0 in the series, their game against the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday is highly anticipated, making Friday’s Game 4 even more exciting.

Has MLB more viewers than the NBA?

The fixture between Yankees and Red Sox game on Friday, the 14th of June has been moved forward to 6:30pm, as against the original time slated for 7:10pm. This change is to give room for fans to watch Celtics take on Mavericks in Game 4 of the NBA finals, which is scheduled for 8:30pm.
AP

As stated by NY POST, MLB made some adjustments last week to improve views. For example, MLB forced Friday night to show the anticipated game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees to the nation’s two largest T.V. markets on both YES and L.A.’s cable network, as well as on an exclusive paywalled streaming service. This came out because Rob Manfred and Associates bit off more Apple TV+ than it could nibble.

“Friday was similar to how “Monday Night Football” avoided Congressional subpoena by allowing the competing teams to be seen on local over-the-air channels in addition to ESPN. For now. Then there was the MLB-asked-for-it calamity two years ago when the Yanks were bolted to Apple TV+ with Aaron Judge already having hit 61 home runs.” Wrote Phil Mushnick in his NY Post colunm.

Be that as it may, while MLB boats some of the best attendances, its television ratings, though good, cannot compete with the NBA finals.

Logo with the NBA and MLB
Benhance

Forbes revealed in 2023 that while the NFL remained the most popular league outside of the major North American sports leagues, MLB ranks strongly in second. Based upon Vision Insight data, the NFL takes 188.4 million fans, MLB has 171.1 million fans, followed by the NBA at 155.9 million, and the NHL at 136.2 million. When it comes to attendance, MLB has shown remarkable growth, with the league experiencing the largest year-over-year increase. In 2023, the league ranked as the highest increase in paid attendance since the 1998 expansion season.

When looking at regular season viewership, MLB is 30% more by gross rating points than the NBA and NHL combined. In simpler terms, the two 81-game seasons that would match the total of MLB’s 162 games see the NBA and NHL at 35% compared to MLB at 65%.

Celtics vs. Red Sox

Although MLB has more viewers than the NBA in the United States, some Boston natives expressed on X.com and Facebook that while the Red Sox are widely famous, they believe the team isn’t as well-known as the Celtics. Whether true or not, this argument was made by some users on social media

David Allen, an apparently Boston Red Sox fan, posted a commentary in a post on Pinstripes Nation’s Facebook page to say that the Celtics have more history than the Red Sox, alongside the trolling message against the Yankees fans. To make matters worse, according to him, the action to reschedule it totally justifies the action of the MLB

A commentary from a fan trolling the Yankees on Pinstripes Nation's facebook page

On the other hand, a lot of baseball fans said it doesn’t make sense this move as Red Sox and Yankees fans will always prefer watching baseball, and wouldn’t care to miss an NBA final game. They argued that prioritizing accommodating an NBA finals schedule over baseball games was misguided.

Baseball fans expressing their opinions regarding Yankees-Red Sox rescheduled game time.

However, MLB knows what it implies to compete for audience with the NBA finals, especially when a Boston team is playing. Although the Red Sox are one of the most iconic symbols of the East Coast alongside the Yankees, it’s not craziness.

This will be the first out of four games between the Yankees and Red Sox this week. Fenway Park will be open at 5pm and the game will be available for viewers to watch via the NESN and YES Network. For fans outside the US, they can watch via the MLB Network.

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