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The future of TV sports

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:16 am
by Jon Chelesnik
The Los Angeles Times published a piece by former college football star Tom Harmon, who in 1949 was the sports director of KFI-TV (an early version of Channel 9 in Los Angeles). This story posed a simple question: Would television hurt or help sports attendance? He believed television would introduce people to new sports and draw them to the games.

"Television is only a very good substitute for the actual game," Harmon wrote. "The camera cannot cover all of the interesting factors. And to the real sports addict, yelling 'Kill the umpire!' at the television tube is small satisfaction for his feelings."

Harmon also discussed how television would change the announcer's role: "The announcer must have the memory of an elephant and know what he's talking about. ... The announcer cannot make a mistake."

Wonder what Harmon would think if he spent a day in 2009 watching sports from local to cable. ... -1949.html