Twins fans will need cable or satellite television today. The team's one-game playoff tonight against the Chicago White Sox for the AL Central title will be carried exclusively on TBS.
It will be the Twins' debut on the network, which used to be the home of the Atlanta Braves but now airs a national package of Sunday afternoon games and has exclusive rights to the division series and one league championship series. This season TBS will have the American League Championship Series and Fox will carry the NLCS.
TBS' exclusive rights to playoff games went into effect last year and is a change from prior seasons. The Twins used to have ALDS games that aired on cable also simulcast by a local over-the-air station. Today's game will be available only on cable or satellite.
TBS' coverage will begin at 6 tonight with a pregame show hosted by Ernie Johnson, Cal Ripken and Dennis Eckersley. Play-by-play man Dick Stockton and former big-league players Ron Darling and Harold Reynolds will call the game, starting at 6:30 p.m.
This will be the second consecutive year that TBS has shown a tiebreaker game. Last season, the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres. Like Twins-White Sox tonight, that game aired in prime time, where the potential for ratings is much greater.
"It's a great promotional vehicle for us with all the postseason starting the following day to put [the tiebreaker] in prime time and try to draw a large audience," said Jeff Pomeroy, senior director of public relations for TBS Sports. "That is part of the strategy."