Major League Baseball unveiled rule changes designed to speed up the pace of games, including limiting visits to the pitcher’s mound and shaving the time between innings, reports Deadline. An average nine-inning MLB game last season grew more than four minutes year-over-year to 3 hours, 5 minutes, and 11 seconds. The MLB’s Competition and Playing Rules Committees recommended these time-cutting changes to the league’s commissioner, Rob Manfred. He decided to hold off on additional rules that would employ timers to regulate the span between pitches, and between batters until the new rules’ impact is known. One timer will give the go-ahead, and it will “countdown from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised championship season games, from 2:25 for breaks in nationally televised championship season games, and from 2:55 for tie-breaker and postseason games,” according to Deadline. Teams will only be allowed six visits to the pitcher’s mound per game now, and an additional non-pitching-change visit per inning in extra- innings. Last year, baseball ratings overall in primetime were down 6 percent, according to Nielsen. But 12 regional sports networks ranked No. 1 in primetime (vs. all TV networks) for games aired in their markets — up from nine RSNs in 2016.
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