Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Look at Sporting KC's Television Conflicts with the Royals

The Kansas City Royals today released the start times for all their games this season. This relates to Sporting KC because with Sporting's new television partnership with the Fox Sports Kansas City, the two are on the same network. In the agreement between Sporting KC and FSKC, should there be a conflict with the Royals, Sporting would be the ones that would jump to Fox Sports Kansas City Plus. When the schedule came out I'd mentioned that there were 19 dates when Sporting KC was not on national television that they and the Royals played on the same day, so how many times is Sporting set to move to Fox Sports Midwest Plus because of the Royals? Quite a bit by looking at the schedule.

Taking into account the Royals pregame and postgame shows that will presumably also bump Sporting KC, there are really only a couple handful of games that will be shown in their entirety on FSKC. KC has six games that are not on national television that don't conflict with a KC Royals game, three before the season starts (3/4 at DC, 3/11 vs Dallas, 3/18 vs San Jose), one in the middle of the season (7/6 vs Philadelphia), and two at the end of the season (10/15 vs Houston, 10/22 vs Salt Lake). The other 19 games are played on the same day as the Royals play. Sporting has said now that the Royals schedule is finalized, the club will be able to work with FSKC to finalize their television schedule.

Baseball games last just under three hours on average based on some of the searching that I've done, so factoring three hours in for the game, plus a half hour pregame and postgame show and the Royals take up at least a four hour time slot for every day they play. With a four hour time window, that means for every game where the Royals start before Sporting KC, Sporting will be starting on Fox Sports Midwest Plus, and then may jump over to FSKC once Royals post game is finished up (and vice versa if Sporting kick off first) according to what Thad Bell has heard. Of the 19 days, 13 of them have the Royals first pitch before KC starts, two times the Royals start after Sporting, and there are still four games that are currently TBD for the start time. For the games where the Royals start after, soccer games are generally about two hours and Sporting has a half hour pre-game and postgame show as well, meaning they'll need a three hour window for Sporting KC broadcasts.

So looking at the schedule, I see just a few days where both Sporting and the Royals play on the same day without stepping on each other’s toes. The first day is June 24th, when Sporting KC is in LA for a 9:30 kick off while the Royals have a 1:15 first pitch in Toronto against the Blue Jays. A three hour game for the Royals plus a half hour post game should see Sporting fine for their 9:30 kick off. The second one is going to be tight, but if the Royals play a fast game, May 27th. The Sporting has a 7pm kick off against the Colorado Rapids in Denver while the Royals have a 3:10 game at the Cleveland Indians. If that game can go under three hours, postgame would be done just before Sporting pregame starts, but if the Royals game runs long, pregame for SKC at least could be bumped. The third game is actually one where Sporting plays first, August 12th, when Sporting travels to Seattle for a 3pm kick off. The Royals first pitch is at 6:10 against the White Sox. Sporting's broadcast would start at 2:30, kickoff at 3, postgame around 5 should see it finish up just in time for Royals pregame to start on FSKC at 5:30, although it could be tight if things run long for the soccer game.

There is one other game that likely will work as well for Sporting and the Royal. Sporting's lone trip to Vancouver on May 20th is currently one of KC's four to be determined start times on the list due to Canadian television, the Royals meanwhile have a 1:10 first pitch at the Minnesota Twins. If the game in Vancouver follows what happened last year, the game kick off at 9:30 Central Time. This would make the trip to Vancouver like the trip to LA, as the Royals should be done by the time Sporting pregame is scheduled to start.

The other 15 games though look like they will be broadcasted (at least in part) on Fox Sports Midwest Plus and all of the games will be available via the Fox Sports Go mobile app. The good news is that most cable providers seem to have Fox Sports Midwest Plus available for customers to watch the games. The annoying thing for Sporting fans may be if FSKC decides to do like what Bell mentioned, and switch Sporting KC from one channel to another in the middle of a game. This is especially true if you're someone who likes to go out to watch away games.

Here's the full list of conflicts and start times.

Sporting KC at Portland 9:30
KC Royals vs Anaheim 6:15

Sporting KC at Dallas 7
KC Royals at Texas 7:05

Sporting KC vs Salt Lake 7:30
KC Royals vs Minnesota 6:15

Sporting KC vs New York 7:30
KC Royals vs Chicago White Sox 7:15

Sporting KC vs Orlando 6:30
KC Royals vs Baltimore 6:15

Sporting KC vs Seattle 7:30
KC Royals vs New York 7:15

Sporting KC at Vancouver TBD
KC Royals at Minnesota 1:10

Sporting KC at Colorado 7
KC Royals at Cleveland 3:10

Sporting KC vs Montreal TBD
KC Royals at San Diego 3:10

Sporting KC at San Jose 8
KC Royals at Anaheim 7:15

Sporting KC at Los Angeles 9:30
KC Royals vs Toronto 1:15

Sporting KC at Salt Lake 9
KC Royals vs Chicago 6:15

Sporting KC vs Chicago 7:30
KC Royals at Boston 6:10

Sporting KC at Seattle 3
KC Royals at Chicago 6:10

Sporting KC vs Dallas 7:30
KC Royals vs Cleveland 6:15

Sporting KC at Houston 8
KC Royals at Cleveland 6:10

Sporting KC at NYCFC TBD
KC Royals at Detroit 6:10

Sporting KC vs New England 7:30
KC Royals at Cleveland 6:10

Sporting KC vs Vancouver TBD
KC Royals vs Arizona 6:15

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