| The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

October 30, 2022 1:12 pm  #1

Why TV's First World Series Game 75 Yrs. Ago Almost Never Happened

It was 1947, and few had ever seen a baseball game on TV - let alone a World Series contest. It was 75 years ago that viewers not at the ballpark actually got to watch a championship game in its entirety for the first time - the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

And even then it almost didn't happen. 

"The predictable stumbling block was money. Baseball commissioner Albert B. “Happy” Chandler wanted $100,000 for the television rights to the Series. Gillette, the sponsor of the radio coverage on the Mutual Broadcasting System, balked at the steep price given television’s limited penetration – only 50,000 to 60,000 U.S. households owned TVs at the time. The radio rights to reach the nation’s 29 million homes with radios had cost Mutual only $175,000.

"Initial negotiations produced an offer of $60,000 from two sponsors: Gillette and the Ford Motor Company. New York’s Liebmann Breweries offered to meet Chandler’s $100,000 demand, but the commissioner refused because he did not want beer ads when youngsters would be prominent members of the audience."

My how times and standards have changed!

In the end, they came to an agreement and get this - the Series aired on all three New York City TV stations at the same time, something that could never happen today. Here's the story of the first-ever televised World Series and why it was almost a swing and a miss. 

The first televised World Series spurred America’s television boom, 75 years ago


October 30, 2022 3:55 pm  #2

Re: Why TV's First World Series Game 75 Yrs. Ago Almost Never Happened

Several years ago, MLB Network aired the entire [minus the 1st inning] Don Larson 1956 World Series perfect game complete with ads. Back then there only three cameras. one behind home plate to cover the entire field. Two others were located down the first and third base lines. Absolutely no end of inning graphics. The camera would zoom in on the stadium scoreboard to alert viewers of the score. With the exception of one Parker pen ad, the rest were all for Gillette razors and shave cream. It was carried by NBC.