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Fox Sports open to discussing day World Series games

(Credit: Watchdog)

For the first time in recent memory, a World Series was decided at an hour that enabled countless young people on the East Coast to actually see it occur, on a school night no less!

Might it be possible to make this happen again, without having to resort to playing only three innings after a two-day suspension?

Fox Sports president Ed Goren told Chris Russo of Sirius XM Radio Wednesday that the network would be open to discussing earlier starting times with MLB - in exchange for reduced rights fees, of course.

Click below for his comments on that subject, and his comments on Ch. 4 airing of video of a Fox sideline reporter who made a gaffe Sunday during an interview of 49ers coach Mike Singletary.

Goren called the incident "extremely unprofessional."

(WatchDog take on the latter matter: It was an honest, inadvertent mistake on the part of Mike Francesa and his producer. The sideline reporter's career will survive. Time to move on, everyone.)On World Series start times:

Chris Russo: "If baseball was willing to give you a reduction in their fees. And you pay them $257 million per year, I believe that might be the figure. I might be wrong but I’m in the ball park. If you give them a quarter of a billion [dollars] a year to do the baseball and they were willing to give you some of that money back – you’re the Fox Sports president, you can answer this call – if they give you that money back but in return they demanded to start the games when they wanted to start the games would you be for that?”

Ed Goren: “We would certainly have that discussion and if it was laid out properly that would certainly be a possibility. In fact, think about this. We play a day game then we have our normal primetime programming. We get a double dip of revenue.”

Russo: “Because you get the baseball revenue and the primetime revenue.”

Goren: “Thank you very much.”

Russo: “You get ratings on that primetime, Eddie? You get revenue for that?”

Goren: “The Fox prime time? Number one.”

Russo: “Is that true? Is that accurate?”

Goren: “Come on, Christopher. We’ve won the season back to back years in the key demo. Once again we’re going to do it again this year and because of baseball in primetime we won last week in the demo and, with a little bit of luck, we’ll win this week if we can play ball.”

Russo: “Bottom line is, though, you would think about day games if they…”

Goren: “Russo, my right hand is up in the air. [Fox public relations official] Dan Bell is about to hand me a bible. Honest to goodness, we would be happy to have that discussion.”

On the interview by Fox sideline reporter Danyelle Sargent of Singletary Sunday:

Russo: “Is Fox annoyed at my old partner [Mike Francesa] and his show on Channel 4 in New York for airing that Sargent interview with Mike Singletary on Sunday night on his ‘Mike’d Up’ program?”

Goren: “Now, let’s set the scene here. He ran video and audio that never appeared on Fox. This was an interview that was done before the game and recorded in the truck and they stopped in the middle of the interview because of a misspeak and re-did it. What aired during the game was not what was taken by your former partner. By the way, you’re pretty good on your own. Now, here’s the deal. We are in a country where the legal people crack down on people who are selling knockoff hand bags. We are in a country where we are trying to protect copyright laws and if, in Beijing, you can buy ripped off movies or whatever we complain. Well, you know what? We have a copyright on all of our broadcasts. We are a damaged party and in today’s world it’s not just that it was run on WNBC in New York but in today’s world that video then gets on every Internet website and has a life that just goes on and on.”

Russo: “But why, Eddie, would it be up on the bird? Who from Fox made that available?”

Goren: “We have our lines up checked in to Los Angeles, as does CBS, NBC, ABC, an hour before the game. You just don’t crank it up for airtime. But you know what, Christopher? Now you’re looking in the wrong direction. If somebody did something that is illegal then that is the issue. Every television network, Chris, has probably run some music during a sporting event that hadn’t been cleared and, as a result, every network has been sued by record companies for 10 seconds of music that was not cleared. In every case there is a lawsuit and there is a settlement and every network has written checks to the tune of $50,000 to settle those cases because the record company says, ‘You didn’t have right to that music and you’ve stolen that music.’”

Russo: “Do you have to make that clear when it is up on the satellite that ‘You cannot touch this.’ Do you have to make that clear?”

Goren: “No, no, no, no, no. The law… Believe me, I’m not a lawyer.”

Russo: “But the law says that NBC or CBS or vice versa, Fox, cannot touch something from somebody else without approval? Is that what it says?”

Goren: “That’s correct.”

Russo: “So what are your repercussions here? You going to ask for some money from NBC?”

Goren: “You know what? I’ve been in sunny Philadelphia for a week and I’ve left that to the people in Los Angeles to work out.”

Russo: “Is Fox annoyed?”

Goren: “You know what? It was extremely unprofessional.”

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