Major League owners proposed today that baseball switch from a five-game to a seven-game playoff series beginning this season and asked the Players Association for an answer by next week.
The owners made the proposal at a negotiating session on the basic agreement.
The Players Association, unsure it will accept the proposal under the current financial setup, indicated it might agree to the change on a one-year trial basis.
Citing the industry's poor financial picture, the owners' Player Relations Committee wants to switch to a seven-game series in order to bring in an additional $9 million in television revenue.
The Players Association wants one-third of that money for its pension fund, but the owners want to pocket it all.
Lee MacPhail, president of the Player Relations Committee, said the pension fund would get as much as $2 million from the gate receipts for the additional games, but that the splitting of the TV revenues was a potential problem.
Donald Fehr, acting director of the Players Association, suggested testing the seven-game format for a year and taking the television money from all postseason games, including the World Series, the All-Star Game and Game of the Week telecasts, and putting it into an interest-bearing escrow. Then, when the two sides agreed on a contract, the money could be divided according to the agreement.