1977 Winter Meetings Inset

This article was written by Steve Cardullo

This article was published in the


Baseball's Business: The Winter Meetings: 1958-2016Baseball 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.

 

Notes

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.

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