In an effort to optimize the start times of games at Fenway Park, the Red Sox have recently teamed up with Boston-based analytics company Recentive, according to Sports Business Journal.
The Red Sox will become the first Major League Baseball team to join forces with Recentive, as the two sides reached agreement on a multi-year deal last month. The company has previously worked with organizations such as the National Football League and United States Tennis Association.
By forming a partnership with Recentive, the Red Sox are aiming to maximize
their local television ratings through start time variation. Red Sox games are broadcasted locally by NESN, which — like the club — is a subsidiary of Fenway Sports Group.
Coming into the 2022 season, the Red Sox are slated to play 81 regular season home games at Fenway Park. During the week, the majority of those contests are scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m. eastern time. During the weekend, most Saturday games will start at 4 p.m. while most Sunday games will start at 1 p.m. ET.
In a conversation with Erik Bacharach of Sports Business Journal, Recentive CEO Andy Tabrizi emphasized that weekend games will be of particular interest since they represent the biggest opportunity for growth when it comes to ratings.
The foundation of Recentive’s relationship with the Red Sox will be granting the club access to “an on-demand, real-time web app that processes about 1,200 different data sources, all of which concern any start times for games on NESN.”
Any changes Boston implements to their schedule likely won’t come this year, but rather in 2023. The Sox previously experimented with the start times of their home games in 2020, moving the majority of them back to 7:30 p.m. during the pandemic-shortened campaign.
That decision proved to be an ineffective one, but Red Sox vice president of data, intelligence, and analytics Jonathan Hay remains optimistic about what’s to come in 2022 and beyond.
“It’s mid-January, so even if we sort of identify some spots, people have
already bought tickets, we’ve got calendars already printed and things
like that,” Hay said last month. “So I think we’d hopefully do a couple of things this year just to be able to test some things out.”
(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)