By Paul J. Gough
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Barack Obama might have the power to move the World Series by a few minutes.
To accommodate the half-hour October 29 time buy by the Obama campaign, Major League Baseball has agreed to move the start time of World Series Game 6 by about 15 minutes, from about 8:20 p.m. ET to 8:35 p.m.
"Fox will accommodate Senator Obama's desire to communicate with voters in this longform format," Fox Sports said in a statement. "We are pleased that Major League Baseball has agreed to delay the first pitch of World Series Game 6 for a few minutes in order for Fox to carry his program on October 29. If requested, the network would be willing to make similar time available to Senator McCain's campaign."
Along with CBS and NBC, Fox was approached by the Obama campaign last week to purchase the 8-8:30 p.m. time slot October 29. If a Game 6 is needed, Fox is obligated to carry the game. That prevented the network from agreeing outright to carry the commercial, which was cleared by CBS and NBC last Thursday.
The blessing from MLB clears the way for Fox to air the promo and collect upward of $1 million in ad revenue for the half hour, more than what either CBS or NBC was charging.
While a big network ad buy from a presidential candidate is rare, it's not unprecedented for a network and sports league to move the start time of a sports event to accommodate a political broadcast. In early September, the National Football League moved up the kickoff time of the opening-night game -- which aired on NBC -- to 7 p.m. to make sure that the game would be over before Sen. John McCain stepped up to the podium to accept the nomination of the Republican party during its national convention.
6 months ago