An Hour of Mets Baseball Will Go Untelevised

Arcane blackout rules will cost Mets fans a chance to watch the start of Saturday's game.

In an age with, Extra Innings, satellite radio and live blogs, it's hard to remember that there was actually a time when there was a meaningful baseball Game of the Week on television. The game still exists, though, and in an attempt to give it relevance Major League Baseball grants FOX an exclusive window to televise baseball before 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Not a huge problem, because teams can just schedule games around that window, unless your opponent schedules a rap concert and fireworks after the game. Flo Rida will be holding court after the Florida (get it?) Marlins host the Mets on Saturday, and the home team has bumped the start time up to 6 p.m. That means an hour of the Mets game won't be on TV, which is doubly painful because Johan Santana is taking the hill for the Amazins.

It's understandable that MLB doesn't want any direct competition with the marquee Saturday game, but a game that starts two hours later hardly qualifies. And even if they didn't want to allow the game on cable, why not allow the game to be streamed at That's not going to keep too many eyes off the FOX game, and would draw visitors to your own site which sounds like a win-win solution instead of punishing Mets fans because the Marlins are trying to jumpstart their flagging attendance.

The first week of baseball is a time when the game's overlords should be doing everything in their power to get eyes on the sport after a long winter's nap. You don't want fans talking about boycotts and raising attention to arcane notions about how people consume the sport they love.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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