- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fox has chosen to drop its broadcast of next Saturday’s Nationals-Orioles game in Baltimore, a decision that could lead to a full blackout of the game for all fans in both cities.

Because of a rule that gives Fox the exclusive rights to Saturday day games, local broadcasters would be prevented from picking up the June 24 game unless the start time, originally set for 1:20 p.m., is moved.

In this region, Fox likely will show the Phillies against the Red Sox, with other cities catching the Astros at White Sox or Reds at Indians.

As of yesterday, the time for the June 24 game had not been changed. An Orioles spokeswoman said the time could be shifted, but that no final decision had been made. Nationals president Tony Tavares said he had not been contacted by the Orioles about a change in time, and that he did not expect the game time to be moved back.

“My guess is they’ll keep it where it is,” Tavares said, citing the probability of confusing ticketholders with a last-minute switch. “Is it a pain in the butt? Yeah, but it’s a pain in the butt for everybody.”

This is the second time Fox has dropped a Nationals game from its slate of national Saturday broadcasts. The network also removed the June 10 game between the Nationals and Phillies from its schedule, also leaving the game untelevised.

Today’s game between the Nationals and Yankees, however, is on Fox, as originally scheduled.

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