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View Full Version : I remember SportsVision...how 'bout you?


hsnterprize
03-09-2003, 09:03 AM
I read the article about the start of SportsVision, and I remember that channel vividly. In fact, if you go to a west side hot dog stand (LuLu's on Damen...just south of the Eisenhower Expressway and south of the United Center), you'll see a poster in the dining area featuring Carlton Fisk, Denis Savard, and Karl-Heinz Granitza promoting "Chicago's Winners on Cable". There are some other White Sox and other team posters on the wall (especially for the Bears), but that one was pretty neat to see.

I guess I was fortunate at the time when my dad first brought cable TV into the house back in the early 80's. I remember the day's on "OnTV", and seeing pay-per-view movies and such. And then when cable came in, it was nice to see the Sox on a clearer signal, even though I didn't know at the time that this was such a "luxury". Considering what the article said, it's a shame that Sox management at the time had the vision to promote a new idea in sports broadcasting, but were too narrow-minded to see how it would affect the general populace. It's one thing in today's world where both the Sox and Cubs can get "equal footing" due to the numerous ways fans can see their teams on TV. However, with the Sox isolating their audience the way did vs. the Cubs staying put on WGN, it's no surprize more Cub fans popped out of the woodwork over the years. The Cubs were exposed in every possible way, while the Sox were only reserved for the "hardcore" fans who were either willing to pay the money to get cable, or get some contraption to steal the signal somehow. In any case, the Cubs are still reaping the benefits of their decision to keep their game on free TV while the Sox are still leering from moving away from it.

There was a line in the article about the Sox being shown on the occasional "NBC Game of the Week" on Satudray afternoons. I watched a lot of those games, and I don't remember the Sox being on that show too often. Was that because the Sox just weren't too popular of a team compared to teams like the Dodgers and Yankees, or were there local broadcasting blackout rules then like there are now. I do remember a nationally televised game being played on NBC, while the Cubs were on channel 9 at the same time, so there must have been some local restrictions to the national telecast going on.

This is your chance to reflect on the channel that provided us with the Sox, Blackhawks road games, and our only champions until the 1985 Bears, the Chicago Sting (I haven't forgotten about the '83 Sox, the '84 Cubs, nor the '63 Bears, but the Sting were the only team that actually a LEAGUE championship, and not just a division title).

Hangar18
03-09-2003, 09:37 AM
I remember hating it at first, and not being able to watch the games for free. HOWEVER, that didnt last for too long. I remember having this really old black & white TV, it was big a 25 inch one (which was probably a luxury back in the 60's or 70's when this thing was probably made) on the (UHF) channel, it had a dial that with the numbers on them...but the numbers werent set. That is, the dial moved Freely, and didnt "click" on a number. So I was able to figure out that if moved that dial just PERFECTLY, the scrambled "split" screen one would see if they didnt have the "BOX" now would come in CLEARLY for me !!! just no sound, so i made up for that by just tuning my Radio to am 670 (think they were on wmaq back then) I HAD INSTANT ACCESS to the sox games !!! I was pretty clever when i was a kid

hsnterprize
03-09-2003, 10:40 AM
Going back to those Saturday afternoon baseball games on TV, how many of you remember the original "This Week In Baseball" (TWIB) with Mel Allen? That was, and will always be, the best baseball highlight show of all time. Even though there is a modern version of the show out now, nothing will ever compare to the original that came out before ESPN, SportsVision/Channel/Fox Sports Net, CNNSI, and other sports related highlight shows. In fact, I found something many of you TWIB fans will like...

This is a link to a game show fan's website, but there's a music link on the page. That music was not only the theme for the show highlighted on this page, but it was also used for the original TWIB show... (http://www.gameshow-galaxy.net/jackpot.htm)

If I can find the music for the closing credits to the show, I'll post the link. It was fun watching those credits, listening to the music, and watching that Cincinnati Reds pitcher go nuts after striking out a batter. Remember that?

TornLabrum
03-09-2003, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by Hangar18
I remember hating it at first, and not being able to watch the games for free. HOWEVER, that didnt last for too long. I remember having this really old black & white TV, it was big a 25 inch one (which was probably a luxury back in the 60's or 70's when this thing was probably made) on the (UHF) channel, it had a dial that with the numbers on them...but the numbers werent set. That is, the dial moved Freely, and didnt "click" on a number. So I was able to figure out that if moved that dial just PERFECTLY, the scrambled "split" screen one would see if they didnt have the "BOX" now would come in CLEARLY for me !!! just no sound, so i made up for that by just tuning my Radio to am 670 (think they were on wmaq back then) I HAD INSTANT ACCESS to the sox games !!! I was pretty clever when i was a kid

I did the exact same thing with an old B&W portable we had. Out where we lived at the time, though (west of Joliet), the picture was pretty snowy, but clear enough to watch the games and also catch some of OnTV's late night "adult" programming. (After all, who needs sound for that?)

Nellie_Fox
03-10-2003, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
I did the exact same thing with an old B&W portable we had. Out where we lived at the time, though (west of Joliet), the picture was pretty snowy, but clear enough to watch the games and also catch some of OnTV's late night "adult" programming. (After all, who needs sound for that?) The sound was just heavy breathing and groaning, anyway, so you didn't miss a thing.

mike squires
03-10-2003, 08:45 AM
I had a set kind of similar to yours Hanger and sometimes it would just come on out of the blue...I remember Greg Walder hit one in to the upperdeck and just thought it was the coolest thing. Yeah, I remember catching a nudey scene once or twice too. :D:

The game of the week was awesome. I wish Scully and Garagiola would hook up one more time. Unfortunatly, I remember watching the game of the week on a Saturday afternoon and up on the screen popped up Harold Baines and Scott Fletcher announcing the trade that broke my heart. They also announced that a "prospect" Sammy Sosa was part of the deal.

Who could forget Saturday mornings with "The Baseball Bunch?"

SI1020
03-10-2003, 08:49 AM
Hsnterprize- completely agree with you on Mel Allen. He was the greatest. Especially his signature line.

hsnterprize
03-11-2003, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by mike squires
Who could forget Saturday mornings with "The Baseball Bunch?"

I can remember that show quite well. First with Johnny Bench as the host, then Mike Schmidt. I remember watching a show when Phil Niekro was teaching the kids how to pitch, and he threw a knuckleball to the San Diego Chicken. The Chicken hit it out of the park, but it was still pretty neat to watch. Also, I learned about how to play 3rd from watching Craig Nettles do a spot on the show.

"We gotta hunch you'll love the Baseball Bunch..."

kevingrt
03-11-2003, 05:14 PM
Man too young to remember SportVision, what was the thing before Fox Sports Net though? It was called something different!

Lip Man 1
03-11-2003, 06:25 PM
It was SportsVision, then SportsChannel-Chicago, then Fox Sports Chicago.

Lip