NBC Sports Philadelphia announced this afternoon its Phillies broadcast schedule for the upcoming season that begins in Atlanta a week from today. In what would be an otherwise ordinary press release, this particular part stood out:
In a first for the network, the Phillies vs. Mets game on Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. will be exclusively live streamed, accessible on NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and on the NBC Sports app. As previously announced, the Sixers and Flyers’ games on April 3 at 7 p.m. are scheduled on NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Philadelphia+, respectively.
The schedule also indicates the April 4 contest against the Mets at 1:10 p.m. will be streamed exclusively on Facebook, which has an agreement with Major League Baseball to exclusively stream 25 games this season. The April 26 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks will also be aired exclusively on Facebook. That means two of the Phillies’ first six games and three total April games won’t be available on television.
The decision to stream the April 3 game rather than air it on NBC makes sense on the network’s end. The Sixers and Flyers are both in the midst of playoff pushes, thus it affords them the opportunity to showcase their streaming option and app instead of bumping regular network primetime programming.
The news will annoy some. I know it’s 2018 and easy to stream games, but it’s a bit unusual that a major market team with a decent amount of hype surrounding it would have two of its opening week games altogether removed from television. Maybe I’m not in tune with the viewing habits of the older demographic, but I can’t picture people like my 71-year-old father holding his iPad up to watch the Phillies game on Facebook.
You can view the full schedule of NBC Sports Philadelphia here:
— Maureen Quilter (@MoQuilterNBCS) March 22, 2018