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  #76  
Old 06-02-2014, 03:16 PM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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I have always believed the consequences of the White Sox move to WFLD has been exaggerated. WGN went from broadcasting a few home games, mostly day games because WGN didn't want to interfere with its prime-time syndication schedule, to broadcasting their entire schedule, except for the West Coast trips, on a station that was more difficult to get. At the same time, the White Sox were becoming one of the worst teams in baseball. Moving to Chanel 32 didn't make the White Sox bad. The Sox failed to draw 1 million in 1967 when they were a bad weekend away from a trip to the World Series, and they would have drawn less than half a million in their 106-loss season if some of the games had been running on WGN.

The baseball moves made by White Sox management (including playing some home games in Milwaukee in 1968 and 1969) had much more to do with the Cubs becoming the more popular team in Chicago than WGN as the Cubs were becoming the fashionable team to watch across the country, stacked with hitting and pitching and primed to return to the World Series after almost a quarter century of frustration. Baseball Digest picked the Cubs to go to the World Series before the 1969 season (while picking the Mets to finish last).

WGN always had more stake in the Cubs than the White Sox. The White Sox were the second team on WGN in 1967. WGN didn't cause people not to go games in 1970. I've heard the thing about the kids coming home from school and turning on the end of the Cubs games and growing up to be fans, but that would have happened if WGN had continued to broadcast only Cubs and White Sox home games, with the Sox television schedule limited because they played a lot of night games during the week.

I can't imagine any realistic scenario where it would have been the Sox instead of the Cubs being the Superstaion darling team in the early days of heavy cable saturation, when A&E was still showing artsy ballets and classical concerts. I imagine White Sox baseball on WGN might have been very close to the abbreviated schedule ran in the early Reinsdorf years when both WGN and the White Sox opted out of the third year of their three-year contract.

The television moves by the White Sox over the years (some simply being ideas ahead of their time) haven't worked out as well as management had projected. But providing more games on free TV, as the White Sox did in 1968, wasn't a bad idea. And the alternative wasn't as rosy for the White Sox as many consider them to be.
In the small town I where I lived, I was able to watch MAYYBEEEEE one White Sox game a month during my fan formative years (early '80's). On the other hand, I was able to watch just about every cub and Brave game, which I did ... a lot. The only reason I am a Sox fan now is because my father is a Sox fan and would only take me to games at Comiskey. That and 1983 was really my first year of paying attention to what was happening. Without having the scientific data in front of me, I am pretty sure that there is a generation of cub fans that didn't have the wise presence I had to steer them in the right direction.

I rooted for the cubs just as much back then. It wasn't until I started getting ripped on by my cub fan friends that I became a salty hater. The Braves have also always been my 2nd team. It is not a coincidence.
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  #77  
Old 06-02-2014, 06:06 PM
gobears1987 gobears1987 is offline
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Put the radio feed on your computer and watch the game on mute on the TV.
I think I'd rather listen to opposing announcers over Ed Farmer. He is beyond brutal.
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  #78  
Old 06-02-2014, 06:09 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Originally Posted by Moses_Scurry View Post
In the small town I where I lived, I was able to watch MAYYBEEEEE one White Sox game a month during my fan formative years (early '80's). On the other hand, I was able to watch just about every cub and Brave game, which I did ... a lot. The only reason I am a Sox fan now is because my father is a Sox fan and would only take me to games at Comiskey. That and 1983 was really my first year of paying attention to what was happening. Without having the scientific data in front of me, I am pretty sure that there is a generation of cub fans that didn't have the wise presence I had to steer them in the right direction.

I rooted for the cubs just as much back then. It wasn't until I started getting ripped on by my cub fan friends that I became a salty hater. The Braves have also always been my 2nd team. It is not a coincidence.
You wouldn't have seen much more of the White Sox had they stayed on WGN. In the early 1980s, the White Sox were on WGN, and you barely saw them.

It wasn't as if going to WFLD prevented the White Sox from having the supersttion exposure that the Cubs got beginning in the late 1970s, especially by 1983 when the Tribune company owned the Cubs. The Braves, of course, were owned by the owner of WTBS
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  #79  
Old 06-02-2014, 08:54 PM
Deadguy Deadguy is offline
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TBS has done quite well since they dropped Atlanta Braves baseball. Just look at the ratings their Primetime Lineup gets.

My guess is that WGN is trying to do something similar and may look at creating some original programming. The bottom line is that baseball ratings have been tanking and it won't take much to replace the number of viewers the Cubs/Sox were bringing in.
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  #80  
Old 06-02-2014, 08:59 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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Younger people dont realize but the move to wfld was more that just reception issues on the newly established uhf channel. It entailed buying a new tv for a lot of people and tvs were more expensive then than they are now. It hurt the Sox fan base because many people had no tv access to any Sox games in the chicago market. Wgn would have at least given these people some games to watch.
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  #81  
Old 06-02-2014, 10:02 PM
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voodoochile voodoochile is offline
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TBS has done quite well since they dropped Atlanta Braves baseball. Just look at the ratings their Primetime Lineup gets.

My guess is that WGN is trying to do something similar and may look at creating some original programming. The bottom line is that baseball ratings have been tanking and it won't take much to replace the number of viewers the Cubs/Sox were bringing in.
They were originally one of the CW stations, IIRC and did pretty well with Smallville and other original content. The simple fact is there is a growing demand for original cable content because they can show and say more than broadcast stations can.
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  #82  
Old 06-02-2014, 10:34 PM
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Brian26 Brian26 is offline
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
Put the radio feed on your computer and watch the game on mute on the TV.
Right now the MLB Audio is about a minute or 90 seconds ahead of the Directv feed.
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  #83  
Old 06-03-2014, 12:17 AM
TDog TDog is offline
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Younger people dont realize but the move to wfld was more that just reception issues on the newly established uhf channel. It entailed buying a new tv for a lot of people and tvs were more expensive then than they are now. It hurt the Sox fan base because many people had no tv access to any Sox games in the chicago market. Wgn would have at least given these people some games to watch.
I remember my family getting its first UHF TV in 1969. Many older fans forget that WGN wasn't televising many White Sox games when they had the rights to them. The Cubs were on more than the White Sox in 1966 and 1967. With the rise of the Cubs as a contender and the demise of the White Sox as relevant in baseball terms, the White Sox were going to get increasing less attention from WGN.

White Sox fans were going to have little chance to see White Sox games on television anyway. The White Sox were in a no-win situation. Their option was to take the WFLD offer for more money (this was in an era where making payroll was an issue, which was the big factor in moving some games to Milwaukee in 1968 and 1969, where crowds dwarfed the Comiskey crowds) and the promise that almost every non-West Coast game would be televised.

Losing their first 10 games of 1968 hurt the White Sox more than moving to WFLD. Being one of the league's worst teams in 1968 and 1969, being baseball's worst team in 1970, the White Sox weren't going to get many people watching their games regardless of what station they were on. In 1969, they typically ran out of ads by the eighth inning, and by the end of 1970, one of their heaviest advertisers was AlkaSeltzer (I guess, if you're still watching, you may need this).

I read this analysis about this huge mistake by leaving WGN, and I find it utterly simplistic. The White Sox wouldn't have been much better off on WGN. A lot of Sox fans couldn't watch the games, and I listened to a lot of Sox games on the radio. But it wasn't like the White Sox were going to capture the imagination of the generation on WGN with Leo Durocher managing Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins and company running on the same station.

And it certainly wasn't like the White Sox were going to get a national superstation following if they hadn't left WGN after the 1967 season any more than the Mets became America's team because they had games televised on superstation WOR.
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  #84  
Old 06-03-2014, 08:47 AM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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Originally Posted by TDog View Post
You wouldn't have seen much more of the White Sox had they stayed on WGN. In the early 1980s, the White Sox were on WGN, and you barely saw them.

It wasn't as if going to WFLD prevented the White Sox from having the supersttion exposure that the Cubs got beginning in the late 1970s, especially by 1983 when the Tribune company owned the Cubs. The Braves, of course, were owned by the owner of WTBS
I won't pretend to know the mechanics and technical aspects of the deal. All I know is "Sox on TV once a month at best, cubs/Braves on TV every day". My town did not have WFLD available no matter what kind of TV you had for a large chunk of time that this was happening. I remember looking desperately at the newspaper TV guide to see if and when the Sox would be on. Sure enough they were listed, but it was always on 32. Then it changed to SportsVision, which we couldn't get either. Sox games weren't consistently available in my town until probably when I was in 8th grade. By then, I was a Sox fan, but every single one of my friends were either cubs only or cubs/Sox fans.
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  #85  
Old 06-03-2014, 07:15 PM
24thStFan 24thStFan is offline
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Originally Posted by gobears1987 View Post
I think I'd rather listen to opposing announcers over Ed Farmer. He is beyond brutal.
Listened to Vin Scully last night. He doesn't have a "sidekick" and never misses a beat. I really enjoyed him.
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  #86  
Old 06-03-2014, 08:29 PM
gobears1987 gobears1987 is offline
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Listened to Vin Scully last night. He doesn't have a "sidekick" and never misses a beat. I really enjoyed him.
Vin Scully is a real treat
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  #87  
Old 06-04-2014, 05:38 PM
oldcomiskey oldcomiskey is offline
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Originally Posted by BRDSR View Post
If true, bummer. Every year I consider getting MLB Extra Innings, but I tell myself I could hardly watch more than one full game a week anyway, so the WGN games are enough. But I can't watch NO White Sox games. I guess I need to look into MLB Extra Innings. It's expensive, I think!

Also, the Score was reporting the same, although it didn't include any info on the source.
unless they fix the video feed, it aint worth the money. I watch gameday on MLB.com and just watch the highlights video as they come
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  #88  
Old 06-04-2014, 05:56 PM
Tragg Tragg is offline
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WGN created a full generation of Cubs fans across the country. Now they've cut their programming significantly the last few years, but that Cub love nationwide will slowly peter out. Can't explain the Cubs popularity in Chicago though.
TBS created 2 generations of Braves fans nationwide.
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  #89  
Old 06-04-2014, 06:08 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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WGN created a full generation of Cubs fans across the country. Now they've cut their programming significantly the last few years, but that Cub love nationwide will slowly peter out. Can't explain the Cubs popularity in Chicago though.
TBS created 2 generations of Braves fans nationwide.

How many generations of Mets fans did superstaion WWOR create before the Mets games moved to WPIX in 1999?
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  #90  
Old 06-04-2014, 06:15 PM
Noneck Noneck is offline
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How many generations of Mets fans did superstaion WWOR create before the Mets games moved to WPIX in 1999?
I may be wrong but I dont think wor was as widely distributed on cable systems as tbs.
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