Last week, Major League Baseball announced the playoff bubble locations and TV dates and networks for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series. You can see those dates and networks here.
Today, via Sports Media Watch, we have dates, times and TV channels for the wild-card series, which begin next Tuesday. Please note, all these times are Eastern.
These will all be American League series, as the National League series don’t begin until Wednesday.
You’ll note that ABC is carrying one game on each date in this round, four games in all. Baseball hasn’t been on ABC since 1995 — the last MLB game televised by ABC was Game 5 of the 1995 World Series. The last MLB postseason game before the LCS round televised by any over-the-air broadcast network was Game 4 of the division series between the Padres and Cardinals, October 8, 2006. LCS and World Series games are still on OTA television, on Fox.
So it’s been a while since cord-cutters have seen any MLB postseason games on an OTA channel.
Here’s the Wednesday, September 30 schedule:
All 16 teams will be playing on this day, eight NL series playing Game 1 and eight AL series playing Game 2. Again, one game will be on ABC. It’s not yet clear which of these games will be for which league, but certainly the early games will be in parks in Eastern time and the 10 p.m. ET slot will be for a West Coast host team.
Here’s the Thursday, October 1 schedule:
Basically, the same as the previous day, with this twist: If any of the AL series are swept two games to none, that would open up some of these time slots.
Lastly, here’s the Friday, October 2 schedule:
These would all be NL series, as all the AL series would be complete by October 1, barring rainouts. Again, if any of the NL series wind up as two-game sweeps, these times might wind up being adjusted.
It’s impossible to say where the Cubs would wind up time-wise on these schedules. The networks do know that the Cubs are an audience draw, so I’d imagine (presuming the Cubs do win the division and are a host team) they’d wind up in either a late-afternoon or early-evening timeslot.
Now it’s up to the Cubs to do just that, and as always, we await developments.