Published on: October 1, 2010
I wish that baseball had made this move on its own, but beggars cannot be choosers.Advertising Age
reports that due to financial support from Chevrolet, Major League Baseball and Fox have agreed to “start Game Three of the World Series at 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 30 -- the earliest start to a World Series game since Game Six of the 1987 World Series. The start time comes an hour earlier than the scheduled start time of the 2009 World Series game on Saturday.”
The goal in starting the game earlier is to allow young people on the east coast the ability to watch a World Series game without staying up until midnight or later. Basically, Chevy is willing to pay prime time ad rates even for hours not in prime time, and so assured of not leaving any money on the table, Fox and MLB are doing the right thing.
It has long been argued that while the broadcast networks and baseball owners have every right to be worried about their bottom lines, the way they schedule playoff games could have the long-term effect of making baseball irrelevant to many young people, which could virtually kill the game. (Remember the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” prediction that professional baseball would fold in 2042?)
I think that Chevy comes out of this looking better than MLB and Fox, and I trust that they will trot out their old slogan, “baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet.” But they all may be missing the bigger picture.
There is at this moment at least a 50-50 shot that the game, which will be played in an American League city, will be in a cold weather city. It could be the Tampa Bay Rays or the Texas Rangers in the series, or it could be the New York Yankees or the Minnesota Twins...and the Twins not only play in a really, really cold weather city, but also for the first time in decades are occupying an open-air stadium, having moved from the cavernous Metrodome to Target Field, which everybody I’ve talked to says is absolutely gorgeous.
But gorgeous or not, it is incredibly likely that if the Twins go to the World Series, it is going to be bitingly cold on the evening of October 30, no matter how early they start the game. There could even be snow.
In fact, it sounds like a pretty good bet. Because I think the Twins are going to the Series this year. And if I’m right, much as it pains me, they’ll be playing the Philadelphia Phillies. (Average low temperature for Philadelphia that time of year: 39 degrees.)
Did you hear the news?
Astronomers have discovered what appears to be an inhabitable planet, dubbed Gliese 581G. There seems to be every possibility that this planet could support life, if it does not already. They say it is a kind of Goldilocks planet - not too hot, not too cold. So if we screw up Earth, there may be someplace to go.
That’s the good news.
The bad news? It is 20 light years away. And since we haven’t developed warp speed yet, that means it would take an awfully long time to get there.
(The Washington Post
put it this way: “If Jupiter were inches away, this would be miles away.”)
However, you can probably expect to see Gliese 581G in the movies long before we actually get there. I was reading on one blog that it has a unique rotation around its sun that means that one side is perpetually in sunlight, and the other is always dark. I’m thinking a really cool film with vampires existing in the dark, a solar powered military on the bright side, with the two camps fighting for control of Gliese 581G. (The twist would be that the vampires would actually be the good guys, and the solar powered guys would be Nazi-like.)
Maybe I’d better get started on the screenplay now.
A bit of good news from the Sansolo-Coupe camp.
Our book, The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies
has just gone to its third printing.
Which is just impossibly cool.
That’s it for this week, as I wrap up a 10-day period in which I gave five speeches...and Monday, I head up to Cornell University to do one of my favorite things - guest lecture at a class on retailing.
Have a great weekend. I’ll see you Monday.