Monday night’s rainout created a rare alignment of sports planets, with the Philadelphia and Houston baseball teams meeting in the World Series on the same night their football teams clash in a Thursday night game.
As noted by the Associated Press, the powers-that-be at NRG Stadium will rotate the baseball score on the side panels through the football game. Also, televisions throughout the stadium will be carrying the Astros-Phillies game. The big screen at the football stadium also will include the baseball score and big-play updates.
Of course, those folks also will be able to track the action on their phones. Which for Houstonians may be far more compelling than watching their 1-5-1 football team.
For those watching at home, some shuffling was necessary in both Houston and Philadelphia. Fox has the World Series, and the Fox affiliates in the two World Series cities hold the local Thursday night broadcast rights. In Houston, it was easy; there are two local Fox stations. In Philly, the football game was moved from Fox 29 to WPHL.
Beyond Houston and Philadelphia, the collision of baseball on a three-letter network and football on a streaming service will make for some interesting comparisons. If, of course, the numbers can be trusted. The AP recently explained that Amazon and Nielsen have generated significantly different audience numbers for Thursday night viewership, a dynamic that frankly makes me skeptical about all numbers.
As previously noted, Amazon knows everything about us. Surely, it knows how many people are watching the live broadcast of a football game.
The reality is that many will watch both. Plenty of sports fans have the capacity to watch more than one game at a time, given that TVs are cheaper than ever before. Plenty will have both games on, side by side.
Even for those who don’t really care about the World Series (I checked out of baseball once the Pirates slipped into three decades of purgatory), I’ll be watching both. It’s only the seventh time a World Series game and an NFL game played on the same day will feature teams from the same metropolitan area.
Actually, it seems like it would be even more rare than that. Still, it’s rare enough to get me to actually have a baseball game on screen, while primarily paying attention to a football game.