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The Big Leagues Go to WashingtonCongress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989$
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David George Surdam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039140

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.001.0001

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Baseball and Broadcasting 1953

Baseball and Broadcasting 1953

(p.164) 11 Baseball and Broadcasting 1953
The Big Leagues Go to Washington

David George Surdam

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on Congressional hearings conducted in 1953 to address Major League Baseball's (MLB) television policies. In addition to their fears about the adverse effects of broadcasting and televising MLB games upon their gate receipts, baseball owners were concerned over their supply of minor league players. National Football League (NFL) owners were not too concerned about the effects of their telecasts upon college football; they relied on collegiate football to generate well-known, gifted players. Their baseball counterparts did not depend on this source. The issue was complicated by the variety of broadcasts into minor league territories: telecasts, live radio broadcasts, and radio broadcasts of re-created games. This chapter first considers the notion that telecasts of MLB games were responsible for minor league baseball's woes before discussing the issue over MLB owners' right to broadcast or telecast their games. It concludes with an assessment of the reasons behind the demise of minor league baseball teams.

Keywords:   broadcasting, Congressional hearings, Major League Baseball, National Football League, telecasts, radio broadcasts, minor league baseball teams, Congress

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