The Kansas City Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City today announced a 160-game schedule for the 2016 season, featuring 10 exhibition games and 150 regular season contests.
The Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City are entering the ninth season of an agreement in which FOX Sports Kansas City is the exclusive television home of Royals baseball. The 150-game regular season television schedule features 77 road games and 73 from Kauffman Stadium. Every game on FOX Sports Kansas City will be preceded by a 30-minute pregame show, "Hy-Vee Royals Live," and followed by the "Boulevard Royals Live" post-game show. While at home, both the pre and postgame shows will take place from FOX Sports Kansas City's set on the left field concourse adjacent to the Royals' Hall of Fame.
FOX Sports Kansas City will also broadcast 10 Spring Training games, more than doubling last year's total. Coverage of Royals baseball kicks off with a telecast from Surprise, AZ, this coming Saturday, March 12, when Kansas City hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks, with analyst Jeff Montgomery joining the FOX Sports Arizona television crew for the afternoon. The Royals and FSKC will televise five exhibition games exclusively with its own announcers: March 15 at Cincinnati; March 22 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (8:00 p.m. KC time); March 23 at Cleveland; March 26 vs. Oakland (3:00 p.m. KC time); March 29 vs. San Francisco (8:00 p.m. KC time).
Regular season coverage will begin when FSKC airs Kansas City's second "Opening Day" of the year on Tuesday, April 5, from Kauffman Stadium as last year's World Series combatants meet in the second game of their season-opening series at 3:15 p.m. That telecast will be preceded by 90 minutes of live pregame coverage featuring the World Series on-field ring ceremony.
In addition to the 150 games on FOX Sports Kansas City, nine other games will be featured as exclusive national telecasts, with five contests on FS1, three on FOX and one on ESPN (the Sunday night season opener on April 3). Three games listed as TBD are expected to be selected at a later date by FOX Sports Kansas City or an MLB national TV partner.
Ryan Lefebvre will call the majority of regular season games for FOX Sports Kansas City and Steve Physioc will provide the play-by-play on the remaining games during the season. Rex Hudler will return for his fifth season as the analyst and Royals' Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery will provide analysis throughout the season on Royals Live with host Joel Goldberg.
Viewership for Royals telecasts on FOX Sports Kansas City reached an all-time high in 2015, leading Major League Baseball with a 12.3 household rating, the best for any MLB team on a regional sports network since 2002.