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Division Series moves to 2-3 format

NEW YORK -- Baseball's owners have approved changing the format of this year's AL and NL Division Series from a 2-2-1 format to a 2-3 format, giving the team with home-field advantage the last three games of the five-game series.

The change, approved by owners on Thursday, was made to accommodate baseball's new one-game wild-card playoff round. The new round of playoffs was added after schedules were set with the regular season ending Oct. 3 and the World Series starting Oct. 24.

Teams with home-field advantage will host Games 3, 4, and 5, eliminating one travel day, and the wild-card playoff winners will start the Division Series at home.

Baseball could revert back to a 2-2-1 format in 2013, when the regular season is tentatively set to start on April 1, with a Sunday night game possible the previous day. Baseball is shifting from the midweek start it used in 2011 and 2012.

The 2-2-1 format has been used in the divisional round since 1998.

Baseball also announced its new one-game wild-card playoffs will be televised Oct. 5 by TBS and that two division series games will shift from TBS to the MLB Network under a deal running through 2013. TBS Sports president David Levy said a rights fee was involved.

The two division series games will be available in more than 30 million fewer homes on MLB Network than on TBS -- that includes some hometown fans of the teams playing.
 
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