One of my sports pet peeves has been the starting time and length of postseason baseball games, particularly the World Series. It has always been baseball's showcase event and, in those olden days when games were played on weekday afternoons, kids of all ages and the young-at-heart would skip work or school, or sneak a transistor radio into the classroom or the office in order to enjoy the games.
In recent years, as television money took precedence over everything else, games had to be played in prime time, even on weekends, leading to lower ratings and reduced interest (particularly among the younger generations). Additional advertising time factored into games often ending well after midnight, leading to lower ratings and reduced interest. Adding an additional playoff round led to some playoff games actually starting at the ridiculous hour of 11 pm Eastern time, and a few instances where National and American League playoff games were played at the same time, meaning that many playoff games are now shunted to cable. This led to -- repeat after me -- lower ratings and reduced interest. It also led to the World Series being pushed later into October, to the point where a rainout or two or some other issues (such as the one-week delay in the 2001 regular season after the 9/11 attacks) can cause a World Series to actually end in November.
Finally, a slight amount of sanity has crept into the process. Fox has announced that World Series weeknight games will be scheduled to start at 7:57 pm ET, and Saturday night games could begin even earlier. (No luck for Sunday because of their NFL commitments.) In addition, the AL Championship Series games on Fox will also have earlier start times.
TBS will cover the NLCS and hasn't announced any plans to follow suit, but considering that Fox is taking some valuable early-evening time away from its affiliates, while cable network TBS has no affiliates to serve, there's no reason they shouldn't jump on board.
Every World Series game last year went at least 3 hours. Game 3 took 3:41 to play, and that was after a long rain delay, so it ended at 1:47 am ET. Remember how nice it was when the fifth and final game ended? And not just because of the result (he said with a smile), but because the suspension from Monday to Wednesday resulted in the final pitch being thrown before 10 pm ET. Almost everyone could stay up that late. Kids can't fall in love with baseball if they can't stay awake long enough to see its most important moments. It's probably too much to ask that the games start even earlier than 7:57 pm, but this is better than nothing.