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Radio and baseball grew together

Posted by: | October 3, 2011 | No Comment |

How radio for baseball sounded in the 1960’s.

KDKA took a risk simply by launching the experiment of commercial radio.

However, KDKA took an even bigger leap trying to broadcast a sport, baseball, America’s pastime.

According to the Modesto Radio Museum, the first game ever broadcast over the radio was Aug. 5, 1921 between the Pittsburgh Pirates (where KDKA was and still is located) and my hometown Philadelphia Phillies.  KDKA and WJZ of Newark later that year did the first radio broadcasts of the World Series.  However, they were not live broadcasts of the game, only reenactments.

The owners in baseball were rightfully concerned about what radio could do to attendance.  If everyone had a radio, (which based on last week’s post certainly was happening) then potential fans would stay home and listen to the game instead of spending their money at the ballpark.

The impact was the exact opposite.  Listening to the games at home intrigued fans and lured them to the ballpark to see for themselves, many for the first time, what baseball was like.

Now, fans had a different source to gather news about their favorite team.  Instead of hearing through word of mouth, or waiting for a newspaper the next morning, fans could hear everything as it happened through radio.

Radio is still a critical element in sports.  Fans cannot (legally anyway) be checking their social networking apps while they are driving, checking for updates.

Yet, social networking is critical for radio to succeed in the ever evolving field of communication technology.  Here is an example:

Radio today:  Reacting on the fly.

A true example of the still wall that is Gutenberg compared to the always moving and changing wall of Zuckerberg.


under: Comm 455
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