- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Don’t expect to watch the first pitch of Saturday night’s New York Mets-Florida Marlins game on television. It won’t be on.

The game at Dolphin Stadium is scheduled to start at 6:25 p.m. That’s during Fox’s exclusive Saturday national telecast window, which prevents local broadcasts of games scheduled to start from 1:10-7 p.m. EDT.

Marlins president David Samson said Friday the early start is to accommodate a postgame concert by Flo Rida.

“We found an overwhelming demand from our fans to start the games earlier,” Samson said. “Tomorrow night, we will have a crowd larger than opening day.”

Florida drew 34,323 for its opener against Washington on Monday.

The game originally was set to start at 6:10 p.m., but the Marlins agreed to push back the start time by 15 minutes following discussions with the Mets, who also spoke with the commissioner’s office.

“I understand from their perspective. For them, it’s an important marketing and ticket initiative, where they’re doing these postgame concerts,” Mets executive vice president David Howard said. “They feel that to start the game at 7:10 in their market would start the concert too late. Those are all valid issues and concerns.”

Home teams generally have the right to set start times, subject to baseball’s labor and national television contracts.

“It’s really an issue for Major League Baseball to consider going forward,” Howard said. “Maybe there should be some dialogue with the visiting team.”

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