why do baseball playoff games start at weird times

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably observed that every Major League Baseball game starts at an inconvenient hour. This is a bitter reality that Baseball games begin at odd hours. Games are frequently scheduled to begin five minutes after the hour, as at 2:05 or 6:05 p.m. You could even come across a baseball start time of 5:07 or 8:08 or anything like that. Why do baseball games begin at odd hours?

Because of pregame activities and television contracts, baseball games start at strange hours. Pregame activities at baseball stadiums normally begin at the top of the hour. This also gives television broadcasters 4-9 minutes before first pitch to provide a game introduction and a commercial break.

Pregame celebrations and television broadcast regulations vary every team. We’ll go through why games in Major League Baseball start at odd times in the sections below.

Traditional pregame activities

Baseball is a sport steeped in tradition. The majority of these customs take place before the game’s opening pitch. For example, before each MLB game, the National Anthem is sung, which takes around 5 minutes. Before the game begins, there is also a pregame prayer or a minute of quiet. All of these factors add a few minutes to the game’s start time.

Each Major League Baseball game begins with the singing of America’s National Anthem, which has been a long-standing tradition. During World War II, this pregame ritual became popular as a way to commemorate those who were serving in the military. Some baseball purists think the first National Anthem was performed during the 1918 World Series 7th inning stretch. Other baseball historians think the first National Anthem was performed in 1897 in Philadelphia for Opening Day.

A baseball game’s start time may also be delayed due to special activities. Baseball clubs like paying tribute to their former players, and they frequently do it a few minutes before the game. This is common when a former baseball player has recently been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The team frequently presents framed jerseys to players and their families, and the audience responds with shouts and a standing ovation.

Television broadcasts

Aside from pregame traditions, MLB game broadcasts add to unusual start timings. According to Sports Fans Focus, television broadcasts benefit from odd start times. It “provides television programs 5-10 minutes to perform a game introduction and get in a commercial break before first pitch” since pregame activities begin at the top of the hour.

For certain television networks, that fast opening and lengthy commercial break may be quite beneficial, since it draws viewers in for the start of the game. The majority of spectators drop off later in the game, therefore if rescheduling a game to a weird time is required to attract a large audience, TV networks are behind the choice.


This is also the greatest time to broadcast advertisements due to the large audience figures. This is where marketing professionals display their greatest advertisements advertising the highest-paying customers.

Changing the commencement time by a few minutes can save the network a lot of money. When we consider that 30-second advertising during the most significant games may cost well over half a million dollars, the arithmetic is simple. Many sporting decisions are influenced by financial considerations. The unusual beginning times of MLB games are no exception. For everyone concerned, it’s a win-win situation. The league, teams, networks, and corporations promote the profit of their product from the money generated before the first pitch is thrown.

Warming-up and stretching of players

To assist prevent injuries, players do some mild running and different full-body stretches. A few minutes before the first pitch, all baseball players participate in pregame warmup routines. To progressively warm up their throwing arms, players would play light catch games. Many hitters like to play casual games of Pepper before the game to get their eyes accustomed to seeing the ball, as we described in a recent blog article.

Why did they start so late

Due to time zone variations, baseball games begin late. If you live on the east coast and your favorite team is on the west coast, an 8:00 p.m. game on the west coast will begin at 11:00 p.m. in your eastern time zone. Many fans who can’t stay up so late to see their favorite team will be irritated by this.

Furthermore, world series and playoff games may begin at very late times. Some games do not begin until after 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This is because Baseball Major League and television networks are aiming to grab the prime-time interest of all major US time zones, and have determined that a late eastern time zone start will provide the best potential to attract both an eastern and a pacific time zone viewer.

Activities after the game

We talked about some of the baseball pregame celebrations previously, but what about the postgame festivities? What are some of the activities that teams engage in once the game is over?

Post-game fireworks are the most prevalent. These are quite popular, and they nearly always take place on weekends. Fireworks promotions are used by teams to entice supporters to bring their families to the stadium.

After some games, teams may also invite supporters to run the bases. After selecting Major League Baseball games, music concerts may be held on the field.

Most clubs will also have a post-game program at the stadium for the television network that broadcasts their games.

We may be accustomed to baseball games starting at strange hours, but many people are unaware of why baseball games start at weird times. The major reason for this is a television contract requirement. Furthermore, this allows teams to engage in pre-game activities. Last but not least, there are the working fans who come to watch the game after a long day at work. They have an advantage in that the game starts late, allowing them to arrive early.