One-Game Playoff Would Air On TBS

The chances of baseball needing an extra game to set its postseason field dwindled last night after the Nationals and Tigers each secured division titles and the Athletics locked up at least a wild-card berth. But a Game 163 remains a possibility—the Orioles could catch the Yankees in the American League East, the Rangers have yet to pull away from the A's in the AL West, and the Dodgers could still catch the Cardinals for second National League wild card—and any extra action will be available for everyone to see.

No television blackout restrictions will be in place if major league baseball’s regular season requires overtime and extends to a one-game playoff on Thursday. Any such game will be televised exclusively by TBS and will not be subject to Major League Baseball’s blackout restrictions, an MLB spokesperson confirmed today.

A Game 163 would be considered part of the regular season, but will not be blacked out because local broadcast rightsholders will not be televising the game in addition to TBS.

“Even though the game would be considered a regular season game, it is broadcast along the lines of a postseason game,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

However, fans accustomed to watching baseball online or through mobile devices will have to put away their iPads and turn on their televisions, as a Game 163 would not be available through MLB's Extra Innings or MLB.tv services within the United States. According to Major League Baseball Advanced Media:  "Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, any play-in game to determine the final team(s) to reach the MLB Postseason, i.e. a 163rd game, will be blacked out in the United States (including the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands)."

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