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Television, Sports and Mass Culture The Role of Television in American Sports After 1946.

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Presentation on theme: "Television, Sports and Mass Culture The Role of Television in American Sports After 1946."— Presentation transcript:

1 Television, Sports and Mass Culture The Role of Television in American Sports After 1946

2 I. Televised Sports: Origins TV changes the nature of sports Love affair between TV and boxing The love affair enters a rocky period A very quiet Friday night Some boxing fans happy with the end of fight night TV and sportsgood, bad, or both?

3 I. Televised Sports: Origins (cont.) Sports on TVan early novelty --Columbia vs. Princeton (May 17, 1939) Television industry takes off after World War II Initial programming obstacles Sports or Entertainment?

4 II. Wrestling on Television History of wrestling During WWII, a new form of professional wrestling emerged -- Gorgeous George Lovers of true sports attacked Georges behavior Ex-boxers and women turned to wrestling for a living Women were avid viewers TV adds to carnival atmosphere of wrestling

5 III. Roller Derby on Television Origins of Roller Derby ABC introduces televised roller derby in 1949 Similarities between pro wrestling and roller derby Violent fans and swearing, punching women

6 IV. Boxing on Television Boxing forges the strongest ties with TV in the 40s and 50s Everyone connected with the partnership is at first pleased with the results --Gillette Safety Razor Company and the Friday Night Fights New standards for judging a good fight

7 IV. Boxing on Television (cont.) Hurricane Jackson: the new style TV boxer Popularity of white, well- rounded boxers --Roland LaStarza and Chuck Davey Television changes boxing

8 IV. Boxing on Television (cont.) Television destroys the club system Big fight arenas face reduced live gate revenues --Madison Square Garden By late 1950s, the romance between TV and boxing was stale

9 V. Basketball on Television Television set sales jumped tremendously in 1948 Sports an important part of 1948 TV programming Basketball dominates programming in the winter of 1948 Problems with TV coverage of basketball

10 VI. Baseball on Television Technological problems Owners sign their own TV deals to the detriment of competitive balance Televised games take their toll at the gates Decline for minor league teams a real problem

11 VII. Professional Football on TV TV really contributes to the growth and popularity of pro football Owners negotiated a single package with revenue sharing Pro football looked good on early TV 1958 championship game By 1960, TV was firmly a part of the sporting scene for better and for worse

12 VIII. The Roone Revolution Real revolution in sports television in the 60s and 70s Roone Arledge and Richard Nixon Arledges background A bold new plan for covering football games Near-perfect program judgement

13 VIII. The Roone Revolution (cont) First task: improve televised college football Goal: attract the casual viewer Lots of shots of beautiful women Bringing the sounds of football to TV viewers Introduces instant replay

14 IX. Wide World of Sports Arledges approach successful from the beginning Aggressive pursuit of the rights for major sports events Keys to success for Wide World of Sports Criticism of the show

15 IX. Wide World of Sports The use of creative editing Securing the rights to Acapulco cliff divers The appearances of Evel Knievel Wide World of Sports produced a number of spinoffs -- The American Sportsman -- The Superstars

16 X. Monday Night Football Encouragement from Pete Rozelle More and better technology Selecting a team of announcers --Keith Jackson Don Meredith: country charm and humor

17 X. Monday Night Football (cont.) Howard Cosellthe man people loved to hate Reactions to the show were predictably strong Team of announcers altered for the second season --Frank Gifford

18 XI. The Olympics on Television Arledge changed the way that Americans saw the Olympic Games Host cities promised publicity and exposure Heroic technology and extended coverage An opportunity to promote their own television shows

19 XII. The Battle over Control of Television Sports By the mid-70s, Arledge was one of the top executives in the industry -- Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell Battle over the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games Sports TV becomes a sellers market --Sugar Ray Leonard

20 XIII. The Era of Trash Sports Origins of ABCs The Superstars (1973) --Red Auerbach protests the NBAs betrayal Trash Sports shows multiply Battle of the Network Stars Era of trash sports ended in the early 80s

21 XIX. The Golden Age of Television Sports Ending? Competition from local superstations and cable channels in the 80s --WTBS and ESPN Traditional sports sponsors began moving their advertising dollars into other areas

22 XIX. The Golden Age of TV Sports Ending? (cont.) TV networks caught between rising costs for rights and falling advertising dollars Capital City takes over ABC in 1985 Rising costs for rights in the 90s and sports dependence on television revenue

23 XIX. The Golden Age of TV Sports Ending? (cont.) For the most part, televised sport takes place outside of prime time Special events still work for prime time NBCs commitment to the Olympics in the 90s Appetite for TV sports still seems to be high The success of the 1996 Atlanta Games on TV

24 XX. How Has Television Changed the Game Itself? Has TV influenced the way a game is played? Instant Replay The TV time out Starting times for games Schedule of Olympic events Winter Olympics bumped to another year starting in Calgary games moved North American settings


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