Yankees/Nationals Has Highest Ever Rating For Opening Night

Yankees/Nationals Has Highest Ever Rating For Opening Night

Baseball's postseason field will grow by 60% this year after the teams and the players union approved a 16-team playoff format for the 2020 season on Thursday.

ESPN saw its best regular-season ratings for a major-league baseball game since 2011 on Thursday night, as its 2020 Opening Day broadcast attracted four million total viewers.

Baseball's season was due to get under way in March but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire 2020 Postseason schedule will be announced in the weeks ahead. However, the players were initially hesitant to accept. However, the sides have agreed to a last-minute amendment that further changes the landscape of an already unpredictable 2020 season.

Players will receive a $50-million postseason bonus pool as part of the agreement, Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports. "We look forward to a memorable Postseason concluding a year like no other and appreciate the continued partnership and enthusiasm of ESPN and TBS".

The playoffs will continue with a seven-game League Championship Series, and a seven-game World Series. "We hope it will result in highly competitive pennant races as well as exciting additional playoff games to the benefit of the industry and all involved heading into next year". Those eight teams will be seeded, though it's not yet entirely clear if it'll be straight records, or if it'll be 1-3 division winners, 4-6 division runners up, 7-8 Wild Cards. The final two spots in each league will be filled by the two teams with the best records among the remaining clubs. The higher seeded team will host all three games, which will cut down on travel.

The first round will be a best-of-three series with the higher seed owning home-field advantage in each contest, sources told Jayson Stark of The Athletic.

The current 10-team postseason was implemented in 2012, when a second wild card was added in both leagues.

Related Articles