ESPN plans to announce it will move up the starting time of the nationally televised game by one hour, with the first pitch planned for shortly after 7 p.m. ET. The network intends to make the announcement on Monday at the winter meetings, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
By last year, the cable sports network’s signature show was suffering from slumping ratings as the company fought against the business climate of cord-cutting and the divisive politics of the Trump era. Enter Norby Williamson, who was named ESPN’s executive vice president of studio production in September 2017, placing him in charge of SportsCenter. His strategy: Return the show to its roots as a hub of news and highlights.
While regular network primetime programming tends to take a hiatus during the holiday season, it’s Hallmark Channel’s time to shine. Its holiday movies are so popular, it began airing them on Oct. 26. And it isn’t the only cable or streaming network with holiday fare.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the Broadcast TV fee for networks like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will go up from $8 a month to $10 a month. The Regional Sports fee will go up from $6.25 to $8.25 a month.