This article was written by Steve Cardullo
This article was published in the
Baseball Dips Feet in TV Production Water
This Week in Baseball marked the earliest foray into television production for major-league baseball. Reportedly, Ernie Banks attended the convention for the National Association of Television Program Executives and marketed This Week in Baseball wherever he could — including the hotel pool. The program represented a partnership between the commissioner’s office, the owners, several production companies, a distributor, and an advertising agency, with the commissioner’s office owning half the stock.1 Joe Podesta, president of the Major League Baseball Promotion Corporation, said, “This year we will lose quite a bit of money on it. But the show is designed to put people in the stands. We feel if we can show on a weekly basis all the excitement of baseball, we can get people out to the ballpark.”2
One of the key technology aspects that made the show possible was placing a video cassette recorder in each ballpark.
1 Dan Lewis,“Baseball Plans Own Weekly TV Show,” Muncie (Indiana) Evening Press, March 7, 1977: 12.
2 Howard Smith, “ ‘This Week in Baseball’ Now Becomes Available,” Mitchell (South Dakota) Daily Republic, (Mitchell, South Dakota), June 23, 1977: 18.