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List of National League Championship Series Broadcasters
The 2010 NLCS did not air in some Philadelphia-area homes after Cablevision pulled local FOX station WTXF off its lineup on October 16 as the result of a carriage dispute with News Corporation, Fox's parent company.
Brian Anderson took over for Ernie Johnson as the lead play-by-play man for TBS during the 2011 postseason because Johnson had to care for his son Michael (who suffers from Muscular dystrophy and was placed in intensive care around the same time as the playoffs).
In 2004, Game 1 of the NLCS and Game 2 of the ALCS were split between Fox and Fox Sports Net. Also in 2004, Game 5 of the ALCS ran way into the time slot of Game 5 of the NLCS. As a result, the first seven innings of the NLCS game were shown on FX, except in the home markets of the teams competing in the NLCS, which saw the conclusion of the ALCS on FX and the NLCS on Fox.
In 1990, Major League Baseball and CBS went with some rather unconventional scheduling during the LCS round, with two consecutive scheduled off-days in the NLCS after Game 2.
In 1991, CBS didn't come on the air for baseball for weeknight LCS telecasts until 8:30 p.m. ET. Instead, they opted to show programming such as Rescue 911 at 8 p.m. rather than a baseball pregame show.
The rather messy 1995 arrangement was courtesy of "The Baseball Network", which was Major League Baseball's in-house production facility. ABC and NBC (who essentially, distributed the telecasts rather than produce them by themselves like in the past) shared the same on-air graphics and even the microphone "flags" had the "Baseball Network" logo on it with the respective network logo. In addition, the first four games of both of the 1995 League Championship Series were regionally televised.
Even though Dick Enberg did play-by-play for the 1981 NLCS for NBC, Merle Harmon was, for the most part, NBC's backup baseball play-by-play man (serving behind Joe Garagiola, who called that year's ALCS for NBC with Tony Kubek) in 1981. Harmon's broadcast partner during this period was Ron Luciano. Bryon Day covered the postgame interviews for NBC following the Los Angeles Dodgers' victory in Game 5.
Game 1 of the 1982 NLCS had to be played twice. In the first attempt (on October 6), the Atlanta Braves led against the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 behind Phil Niekro. The game was three outs away becoming official when the umpire stopped it. When the rain did not subside, the game was cancelled. Game 1 began from the start the following night in a pitching match-up of Pascual Pérez for the Braves and longtime Cardinal starter Bob Forsch.
1983 marked the last year that the local flagship television stations for the competing teams were allowed to produce their own League Championship Series broadcasts. In 1982, Major League Baseball recognized a problem with this due to the emergence of cable superstations such as WTBS in Atlanta and WGN-TV in Chicago. When TBS tried to petition for the right to do a "local" Braves broadcast of the 1982 NLCS, Major League Baseball got a Philadelphia federal court to ban them on the grounds that as a cable superstation, TBS could not have a nationwide telecast competing with ABC's.
On Thursday, October 10, 1985, NBC didn't come on the air for Game 2 of the NLCS until 8:30 p.m. ET to avoid disrupting The Cosby Show at 8. NBC would do the same thing for Thursday night games in subsequent postseasons. Dick Enberg hosted the 1985 NLCS pregame shows with Joe Morgan. It was Enberg who broke the news to most of the nation that Vince Coleman was injured before Game 4. NBC even aired an interview with one of the few people who actually saw the incident, a Dodger batboy.
On October 15, 1986, Game 6 of the NLCS ran so long (lasting for 16 innings, 5 hours and 29 minutes), it bumped up against the start time of Game 7 of the ALCS (also on ABC).
During Game 6 of the NLCS, ABC color commentator Tim McCarver left the booth during the bottom of the 16th, in order to cover the expected celebration in the New York Mets' clubhouse. As a result, play-by-play man Keith Jackson was on the air by himself for a short time. Eventually, McCarver rejoined the broadcast just before the end of the game, watching the action on a monitor in the Mets' clubhouse, then doing the postgame interviews with the Mets.
NBC used Don Sutton as a pre and postgame analyst for their 1987 LCS coverage. Marv Albert went back-and-forth during both 1987 LCS. He hosted the pregame for Game 1 of the NLCS with Joe Morgan, and in fact had to read the lineups to the viewing audience. There was a problem with the St. Louis P.A. feed, so he ended up reading the script from the Cardinal dugout while the players were introduced to the crowd. He then went to Minnesota the next night to host the ALCS pregame with Don Sutton. Jimmy Cefalo hosted the pregame coverage for Game 5 of the NLCS, as Marv Albert was away on a boxing assignment for NBC.
NBC play-by-play man Vin Scully was unable to call Game 2 of the 1989 NLCS (on Wednesday, October 4) because he had come down with laryngitis. Thus, number two play-by-play man, Bob Costas filled-in for him. Around the same time, Costas was assigned to call the American League Championship Series between Oakland and Toronto. Game 2 of the NLCS occurred on Thursday, October 5, which was an off day for the ALCS. NBC then decided to fly Costas from Toronto to Chicago to substitute for Scully on Thursday night. Afterwards, Costas flew back to Toronto, where he resumed work on the ALCS the next night.
NBC used Mike Schmidt as a guest analyst (Marv Albert served as the pregame host) for Game 1 of the NLCS. Schmidt subsequently, did on-field reporting for the series. Schmidt also provided periodic commentary (albeit, taped prior to the playoffs) for ABC during the 1988 NLCS.
In 1970, NBC televised the second games of both League Championship Series on a regional basis. Some markets got the NLCS at 1 p.m. ET along with a 4 p.m. NFL game while other markets got the ALCS at 4 p.m. along with a 1 p.m. NFL game.
In the early years of the League Championship Series, NBC typically televised a doubleheader on the opening Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday (because of NFL coverage). They then covered the weekday games with a 1.5 hour overlap, joining the second game in progress when the first one ended. NBC usually swapped announcer crews after Game 2.
From 1969 to 1983, the Major League Baseball television contract allowed a local TV station in the market of each competing team to also carry the LCS games. So in 1969, for example, Mets fans in New York could choose to watch either the NBC telecast or Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner on WOR-TV.
For all of the League Championship Series telecasts spanning from 1969 to 1975, only Game 2 of the 1972 American League Championship Series (Oakland vs. Detroit) is known to exist. However, the copy on the trade circuit of Game 2 of the 1972 ALCS is missing the Bert Campaneris-Lerrin LaGrow brawl. There are some instances where the only brief glimpse of telecast footage of an early LCS game can be seen in a surviving newscast from that night. For instance, the last out of the 1973 National League Championship Series as described by Jim Simpson was played on that night's NBC Nightly News, but other than that, the entire game is gone. On the day the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles wrapped up their respective League Championship Series in 1969, a feature story on the CBS Evening News showed telecast clips of the ALCS game (there's no original sound, just voiceover narration). This is all that likely remains of anything from that third game of the Orioles-Twins series.
While all telecasts of World Series games starting with 1975 are accounted for and exist, the LCS is still a spotty situation through the late 1970s:
1976 ALCS - Only Game 5 from the ABC vault is known to exist.
1976 NLCS - An off-air recording of Game 3, taped in the Portland market is the only game that is known to exist. Apparently, this copy which makes the trade circuit is the only extant version because a second-hand story says that the ABC vault copy has no sound.
1977 - Major League Baseball has in the vault, Game 3 of the NLCS (from the Philadelphia Phillies' local NBC affiliate) and apparently has all of Game 4 of the NLCS. Also, both the WPIX and NBC versions of Game 5 of the ALCS (both of which are also out there in terms of off-air recordings) are known to exist. Earlier games of the NLCS and ALCS have not surfaced and may not exist in the vault.
1978 - Trade collectors have all four games of the ALCS (the ABC version) but only Game 4 of the NLCS (again, the source copies are those taped by those at home).
1969 - Locally, the NLCS was broadcast in New York City by WOR-TV, the Mets' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City, New York NBC affiliate, and in Atlanta by WSB-TV, the Braves' flagship TV station and Atlanta, Georgia NBC affiliate.
From 1969 to 1975, there was no official national radio network coverage of the League Championship Series. NBC only had the national radio rights to the All-Star Game and World Series during this period. Instead, national coverage was provided by local team radio broadcasts being syndicated nationally over ad hoc networks.
From 1969 to present, with the exception of the period between 1969 and 1975, the non-national radio broadcasts of the National League Championship Series we're broadcast on the flagship station and the radio network of the teams participating in the National League Championship Series.