...we reviewed a pair of nationally televised nine-inning baseball games from earlier this season, one shown on Fox and the other on ESPN, and used a stopwatch to break them down into their component parts. ...That 1952 World Series game (Yankees 3, Dodgers 2) was played in 2:56. With the additional commercials -- more than 32 minutes of them -- it would have lasted 3:28.
The result is that during these games, there was a nearly identical amount of action: about 14 minutes. To put that in context, that's about 10.9% of the total broadcast time (excluding commercials). ...
So how do the modern games compare with Game 6 of the 1952 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, the oldest complete-game broadcast that MLB has in its possession? While the amount of action was roughly similar -- about 13 minutes -— we tallied only nine minutes and 44 seconds of commercials. The tally for today's games, 42 minutes and 10 seconds, was more than four times as high.
Forget additional pitching changes and batters stepping out and pitchers dawdling on the mound. Just the added commercials alone would have pushed that 1952 game longer than 13 of the last 16 World Series games.