ABC and Major League Baseball have rescheduled game times and national broadcasts of the playoffs next week so ABC could join the other networks in live coverage of the vice presidential debate.
The decision to reshuffle baseball coverage next Wednesday marks the second time a network has changed its sports coverage as a result of the debate times demanded by Republican strategists and agreed to by the Democrats. NBC suspended its Olympic coverage Sunday to cover the debate between Michael Dukakis and George Bush.The plan announced Tuesday by ABC and baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth calls for switching both the National League and American League playoff starting times so that the NL contest will begin at 8 p.m. MST Wednesday. The AL game will begin at 11:20 a.m. MST. The 90-minute debate between Democrat Lloyd Bentsen and Republican Dan Quayle in Omaha, Neb., will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. MST.
The NL game between New York and Los Angeles originally was scheduled for 1 p.m. MST. The AL game between Oakland and Boston, assuming the Red Sox clinch their division title, was scheduled to begin at 6:20 p.m. MST in Boston.
"Although these changes will create a significant inconvenience to the clubs, leagues and fans," Commissioner Peter Ueberroth said, "baseball recognizes its responsibility to allow the Democratic and Republican parties access to a national forum in prime time."