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List of World Series Broadcasters
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The following is a list of national American television and radio networks and announcers that have broadcast World Series games over the years. It does include any announcers who may have appeared on local radio broadcasts produced by the participating teams.
2010 - For the second consecutive year, World Series games had earlier start times in hopes of attracting younger viewers. First pitch was just before 8 p.m. EDT for Games 1-2, and 5, while Game 3 started at 7 p.m. EDT. Game 4, however, started at 8:22 p.m. EDT to accommodate Fox's football coverage of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals. Many viewers in the New York City and Philadelphia markets were unable to watch Games 1 and 2 because News Corporation, Fox's parent company, pulled WNYW and WTXF from cable provider Cablevision on October 16 because of a carriage dispute. The agreement was reached just before Game 3.
On August 24, Tribune removed affiliate WTIC from Cablevision systems in Connecticut, causing viewers to miss Games 1 and 2 of the series. An agreement between Cablevision and Tribune was reached on October 26, the day before Game 3.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the four-game series on Fox averaged a record-low 7.6 rating and 12 share. The previous low was an 8.4 rating for both the 2008 and the 2010 World Series, which each went five games. The 6.1 rating in Game 3 matched the lowest rating for any World Series game with Game 3 in 2008; that year, a rain delay moved the start of the game to after 10 p.m. on the East Coast with the game not ending until 1:47 a.m.
The 2013 World Series was Tim McCarver's final World Series as a broadcaster, as he announced that he would retire after the season. A partnership with Fox Sports featured Pearl Jam as the November artist of month for all entities within the Fox Sports domain and license 48 songs from their catalogue to play during the 2013 World Series. Their music was included in anything from "opening teases and commercial bumpers to montages, as well as additional promotional inventory across Fox prime-time and cable."
The World Series started on a Tuesday for the first time since 1990, instead of a Wednesday as in previous years. The change also meant that the series only had to compete with the National Football League on one night (Sunday) instead of three (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday).
The 2014 World Series averaged an 8.3/14 rating, making it the second-worst rated World Series in Major League Baseball history. Through six games, the series was averaging 7.4, which would have made it the worst-rated World Series, but Game 7 produced a respectable 13.7 to bolster the series average enough to avoid the notorious distinction. The 2014 World Series set records for lowest-rated Games 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in World Series history. The previous Game 7 in World Series history occurred in 2011, when the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers produced a 14.7 rating, a full 1.0 over 2014's Game 7. 2014 is the 5th consecutive year in which the World Series rating was under 10.0 and the 6th in the last 7th.
2015 - Fox suffered an outage during their broadcast of Game 1, resulting in a loss of coverage for 15 minutes, followed a 5-minute delay in-game while officials addressed the availability of video review due to the loss of Fox's feed. The teams agreed to allow the use of footage from MLB International's world feed of the game for video review, while Fox also temporarily switched to the MLB International feed with Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz, later replaced by Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci before the main Fox Sports production was restored.
Initial reports often utilize "fast national" ratings, which are subject to revision. Game 7 had over 40 million viewers, the largest audience for a baseball game since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, while the series as a whole was the first to average double-digit ratings nationally since 2009.
2001 - For the second consecutive year, Fox carried the World Series over its network with its top broadcast team, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (himself a former New York Yankees broadcaster). This was the first year of Fox's exclusive rights to the World Series (in the previous contract, Fox only broadcast the World Series in even numbered years while NBC broadcast it in odd numbered years), which it has held ever since (this particular contract also had given Fox exclusive rights to the entire baseball postseason, which aired over its family of networks; the contract was modified following Disney's purchase of Fox Family Channel shortly after the World Series ended, as ESPN regained their postseason rights following a year of postseason games on ABC Family, Fox Family's successor).
An average of 23.1 million people watched Game 1. These were the highest television ratings for the opening game of a World Series in five years and had the highest average number of viewers since 1996. It was also the highest rated broadcast on any network in the past ten months. The ratings for the first two games were also the highest average since 1996, and the average for the first three games was the highest since 1999. Game 3 had the highest average number of viewers with 24.4 million, since 1996 when 28.7 million watched the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. It was also the Fox network's highest rating for a Game 3 of a World Series ever. Game 4 posted an 18.2 national rating giving the series an overall average of 15.8. This was the highest average in five years, and the average number of viewers of 25.4 million, was the highest since 1995.
2006 - Games 1, 3 and 4 set all-time lows for television ratings, with Game 4 falling 20% from the previous year's Game 4. The Series as a whole was also the lowest-rated ever, with the four games averaging a Nielsen rating of only 10.0 and a share of 17. By contrast, the six games of the 1980 Series--in the pre-cable television era--garnered a record-high rating of 32.8 and a share of 56.
The starting time for each television broadcast was 8 pm EDT/6 pm MDT.
2007 - The starting time for each television broadcast was 8 pm EDT (6 pm MDT). The series broke with the recent tradition of starting the World Series on a Saturday, as Major League Baseball had become convinced that weekend games drew lower television ratings. Prior to this season, every World Series since 1985 had opened on a Saturday, with the exception of the 1990 World Series. Rogers Sportsnet (RSN) in Canada used the MLB International feed with Dave O'Brien and Rick Sutcliffe as booth announcers. NASN showed the games live to most of Europe, while in the United Kingdom, all games were shown terrestrially on Five. NHK aired the Series in Japan.
During Fox's broadcast of Game 3 of the 2007 World Series between the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox, a blackout occurred during the top half of the seventh inning, resulting in the disruption of a key moment in the game.
Game 1 of the 2008 World Series was watched by 10.1 million viewers in the United States; Commissioner Bud Selig stated he was satisfied with the ratings. Overall viewership was 25% lower than the previous World Series.
Game 5 on October 27 was postponed after the top of the sixth inning due to rain. When the game finally resumed on October 29, the start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes so that a 30-minute paid advertisement for U.S. DemocraticPresidential candidate Barack Obama could be aired on Fox, CBS, and NBC.
Game 1 of the 2009 World Series was watched by 19.5 million viewers, second only to the opening of the 2004 World Series in viewership for a series opener since 2000. The viewership for the opening game resulted in a ratings percentage of 11.9% of households in the United States. Game 4 produced the highest ratings of the series with 22.8 million viewers, the highest for any World Series game since 2004 and the highest for a "non-decisive Game 4" since 2003.
Fox Deportes also broadcast the Series for the US Spanish-speaking audience.
This was the first of four consecutive World Series to be televised on CBS. From 1976 to 1989, World Series telecasts alternated between ABC (in odd numbered years) and NBC (in even numbered years). For CBS' coverage of the 1990, 1991, and 1992 World Series, Jim Kaat provided periodic commentary on the field during the telecasts but he was not in the booth with Jack Buck (for 1990 and 1991), Sean McDonough (for 1992), and Tim McCarver.
In 1990, CBS field reporter Lesley Visser became the first female sportscaster to cover a World Series.
All World Series games from 1981 to 1996 were televised in Canada on CTV, using the feed from the US network broadcaster.
The World Series telecast drew an overall national Nielsen rating of 24.0 and a 39 share for CBS. Game 7 drew a 32.2 rating and 49 share; as of 2012, no subsequent World Series game has approached either number in national TV ratings.
In 1992, at 30 years of age, CBS' Sean McDonough became the youngest man to call all nine innings and games of a World Series while serving as a full network television employee. Although Vin Scully and Al Michaels were several years younger when they called their first World Series, they were products of the then broadcasting policy of announcers representing the participating teams (a process that ended following the 1976 World Series). McDonough's record was subsequently be broken by Fox's Joe Buck, who at 27 years of age, called the 1996 World Series. Coincidentally, McDonough replaced Joe Buck's father, Jack, as CBS' lead play-by-play man.
The 1995 World Series was broadcast on two networks (ABC and NBC) so that they could recoup losses in the aftermath of the 1994-95 strike. The arrangement was a compromise from both networks, which chose to opt out of a six-year revenue sharing deal with Major League Baseball called "The Baseball Network." Prior to the strike, ABC was scheduled to broadcast the 1994 World Series and NBC was scheduled to televise the 1995 World Series. For 1995, ABC and NBC alternated games, with ABC scheduled to cover Games 1, 4, 5 and 7 while NBC covered Games 2, 3 and 6. Game 7 however, was not necessary.
Also during the 1995 World Series, NBC's Hannah Storm was the first woman to serve as solo host of a World Series, and the first to preside over a World Series trophy presentation.
1997 - This marked the first time since 1988 that NBC televised a World Series in its entirety. In 1995, NBC televised Games 2, 3, and 6, while rival ABC televised Games 1, 4, and 5, having split that series since ABC was promised the strike-cancelled1994 World Series. Both networks had announced prior to the 1995 season, that they were bailing out what was initially, a six-year-long revenue sharingjoint venture with Major League Baseball called "The Baseball Network". NBC's West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer disturbed Major League Baseball when he publicly wished the World Series to end in a four-game sweep so that it wouldn't derail NBC's fall entertainment schedule. (Game 5 fell on a Thursday, which had long been the highest rated night on NBC's schedule, if not on all of television.)
The 1999 World Series was NBC's 39th and, to date, final World Series telecast. Fox aired the next World Series as part of the contract in place, and Fox acquired the exclusive broadcast rights of Major League Baseball beginning in 2001. With the Knicks having played in the NBA Finals in June, this was the second championship series in 1999 that NBC broadcast involving teams from New York. Bob Costas, Jim Gray, and Hannah Storm were involved both times. Costas with play-by-play, Gray as a reporter, and Storm as pre-game host. Prior to Cleveland in 2016, this was the most recent year of a same city hosting both NBA Finals and World Series in the same year.
1980 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Philadelphia by WPHL-TV, the Phillies' flagship TV station, and KYW-TV, the Philadelphia NBC station; and in Kansas City by WDAF-TV, the Royals' flagship TV station as well as the Kansas City NBC station.
This series is tied with the 1978 World Series for the highest overall television ratings to date, with the six games averaging a Nielsen rating of 32.8 and a share of 56.
Although Bryant Gumbel anchored NBC's pregame coverage for Game 5 of series, he was not present at Kansas City's Royals Stadium. Game 5 landed on a Sunday, which created conflict with Gumbel's NFL '80 hosting duties. As a result, Gumbel had to anchor the World Series coverage from NBC's studios in New York City. Gumbel however, would be present in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium for Game 6, which turned out to be the clincher for the Phillies.
1981 - Locally, the ABC feed was carried in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KABC-TV, the Los Angeles ABC station; and in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WABC-TV, the New York City ABC station.
1982 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in St. Louis by KSDK, the Cardinals' flagship station as well as the St. Louis NBC station; and in Milwaukee by WVTV, the Brewers' flagship TV station, and WTMJ-TV, the Milwaukee NBC station.
Dick Enberg and Joe Garagiola traded off play-by-play duties (just as Garagiola and Tony Kubek had done for NBC's previous two World Series broadcasts). Garagiola called the first three and last three innings of each game. Enberg, meanwhile, hosted the pregame show and then called the middle innings.
1983 - Locally, the ABC feed was carried in Baltimore by WMAR-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WJZ-TV, the Baltimore ABC station; and in Philadelphia by WTAF-TV, the Phillies' flagship TV station, and WPVI-TV, the Philadelphia ABC station. (This was the last year in which the participating teams' regular-season flagship TV stations were permitted to simulcast the network feed of the World Series even if they were not affiliated with that network. Beginning in 1984 the network affiliates would have Series exclusivity in every city.)
This was the last World Series aired on ABC before the network was taken over by Capital Cities Communications (coincidentally, that company's flagship station was Philadelphia's ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV--also the network's first affiliate).
Earl Weaver was ABC's lead baseball analyst in 1983, but was also employed by the Baltimore Orioles as a consultant. At the time, ABC had a policy preventing an announcer who was employed by a team from working games involving that team. So whenever the Orioles were on the primary ABC game (ABC during this period, broadcast Monday night games), Weaver worked the backup game. This policy forced Weaver to resign from the Orioles' consulting position in October in order to be able to work the Series telecasts for ABC.
1985 marked the first time that all World Series games were aired in prime time. Since 1985 marked the first year of the League Championship Series having a best-of-seven format, Game 1 started on a Saturday. Tim McCarver (who was originally slated to be a roving World Series reporter) was practically a last minute replacement for Howard Cosell on ABC's coverage. Cosell was removed from the telecasts on the eve of the World Series (October 18), by order of Jim Spence and Roone Arledge (the then Vice President and President of ABC Sports respectively) after the excerpts from Cosell's book (I Never Played the Game), which criticized colleagues at ABC, first appeared in TV Guide.
1986 - NBC preceded its broadcast of Game 5 by airing an episode of The Cosby Show (at the time the network's top-rated prime time series) in lieu of a pregame show.
Vin Scully's call of the final play in Game 6 would quickly become an iconic one to baseball fans, with the normally calm Scully growing increasingly excited:
So the winning run is at second base, with two outs, three and two to Mookie Wilson. [A] little roller up along first... behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it!
Scully then remained silent for more than three minutes, letting the pictures and the crowd noise tell the story. Scully resumed with:
If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets are not only alive, they are well, and they will play the Red Sox in Game 7 tomorrow!
Game 6 caused the first-ever preemption of Saturday Night Live, due to extra innings. Ron Darling explained that when the Mets entered the locker room, they were informed to their dismay that they'd inadvertently caused the first delay in SNLs (then) 11-year history; the delayed episode was aired two weeks later on November 8.
Game 6 of the 1987 World Series (played on Saturday, October 24) was the last World Series game to not be played in prime time (ironically, the game was played in the Metrodome even though it took place under artificial illumination all the same). The game started at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Another weekend afternoon sixth game was planned for 1988, but since the World Series ended in five games, it was unnecessary.
Longtime Los Angeles Dodgers' broadcaster Vin Scully called the 1988 World Series for a national television audience on NBC with Joe Garagiola. Unknown to the fans and the media at the time, Kirk Gibson was watching the game on television while undergoing physical therapy in the Dodgers' clubhouse. At some point during the game, television cameras scanned the Dodgers dugout and Scully, observed that Gibson was nowhere to be found. This spurred Gibson to tell Dodgers managerTommy Lasorda that he was available to pinch hit. Gibson immediately returned to the batting cage in the clubhouse to take practice swings.Bob Costas, who along with Marv Albert, hosted NBC's World Series pregame coverage and handled postgame interviews made on-air statements that enraged many in the Dodgers' clubhouse (especially manager Tommy Lasorda). After the Dodgers won Game 4, Lasorda (during a postgame interview with Marv Albert) sarcastically said that the MVP of the World Series should be Bob Costas. While Kirk Gibson was taking practice swings in the Dodgers' clubhouse during Game 1, Orel Hershiser set up the hitting tee for his teammate. Along the way, Costas could hear Gibson's agonized-sounding grunts after every hit. Costas said that the 1988 Dodgers possibly had the weakest hitting line-up in World Series history.
All year long, they looked to him to light the fire, [Scully began] and all year long, he answered the demands, until he was physically unable to start tonight—with two bad legs: The bad left hamstring, and the swollen right knee. And, with two out, you talk about a roll of the dice... this is it.
Scully made repeated references to Gibson's legs, noting at one point that the batter was "shaking his left leg, making it quiver, like a horse trying to get rid of a troublesome fly." Gibson worked the count to 3-2 as Mike Davis stole second base; the camera turned at that point to Steve Sax getting ready for his turn at the plate, and Scully reminded the viewers that Sax waiting on deck but the game right now is at the plate. He then said:
High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is... GONE!!!
Scully said nothing for over a minute, allowing the pictures to tell the story. Finally, he said:
In a year that has been so improbable... the impossible has happened!
Returning to the subject of Gibson's banged-up legs during a replay, Scully joked,
And, now, the only question was, could he make it around the base paths unassisted?! You know, I said it once before, a few days ago, that Kirk Gibson was not the Most Valuable Player; that the Most Valuable Player for the Dodgers was Tinkerbell. But, tonight, I think Tinkerbell backed off for Kirk Gibson. And, look at Eckersley - shocked to his toes! They are going wild at Dodger Stadium - no one wants to leave!
As NBC showed a replay of Gibson rounding second base in his home run trot, Scully then made a point to note Eckersley's pitching performance throughout the 1988 season, to put things in perspective.
Dennis Eckersley allowed five home runs all year. And we'll be back.
This was the last World Series that ABC televised from start to finish (and also the last they would produce themselves) and the last MLB game on ABC, period, until July 1994. The television rights would move exclusively (ABC had shared coverage with NBC since 1976 up until the end of the 1989 season) to CBS the following year. ABC would next televise a World Series in 1995, but only broadcast Games 1, 4, and 5 (the other games were covered by NBC, who had a joint venture with ABC and MLB called The Baseball Network). Due in part to the earthquake and subsequent interruption of play, combined with the four-game sweep by the A's, ABC only drew an overall Nielsen rating of 16.4 for the Series. This was the first World Series since the introduction of prime-time games in 1971 to draw a rating of less than 20.
1970 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Baltimore by WJZ-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WBAL-TV, the Baltimore NBC station; and in Cincinnati by WLWT, the Reds' flagship TV station as well as the Cincinnati NBC station.
1971 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Pittsburgh by KDKA-TV, the Pirates' flagship TV station, and WIIC, the Pittsburgh NBC station; and in Baltimore by WJZ-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WBAL-TV, the Baltimore NBC station.
1972 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Oakland by KBHK-TV, the Athletics' flagship TV station, and KRON-TV, the Bay Area NBC station; and in Cincinnati by WLWT, the Reds' flagship TV station as well as the Cincinnati NBC station.
After having been used as an in-the-stands reporter for NBC's Series coverage since 1968, Tony Kubek was promoted to the booth as a color analyst for the telecasts, becoming the first former player to serve in this capacity since Joe Garagiola in 1961.
NBC aired the soap opera Return to Peyton Place prior to game 5, the first time that NBC had skipped the pregame show before a Series game (a move the network would not repeat until 1986 with The Cosby Show). This move was necessitated by the fact that Game 3 was rained out, forcing Game 5 to be played on a Friday, originally scheduled as a travel day.
1973 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WOR-TV, the Mets' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC station; and in Oakland by KTVU, the Athletics' flagship TV station, and KRON-TV, the Bay Area NBC station.
1974 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Oakland by KTVU, the Athletics' flagship TV station, and KRON-TV, the Bay Area NBC station; and in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KNBC-TV, the Los Angeles NBC station.
1975 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Cincinnati by WLWT, the Reds' flagship TV station was well as the Cincinnati NBC station; and in Boston by WSBK-TV, the Red Sox' flagship TV station, and WBZ-TV, the Boston NBC station.
1976 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC station; and in Cincinnati by WLWT, the Reds' flagship TV station as well as the Cincinnati NBC station.
1977 - Locally, the ABC feed was carried in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KABC-TV, the Los Angeles ABC station; and in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WABC-TV, the New York City ABC station.
Beginning in 1977 the participating teams' local announcers were no longer featured as booth announcers on the network telecast of a World Series.
Also in 1977, Yankees announcer Bill White and Dodgers announcer Ross Porter split pre-game and post-game duties on ABC, with White working the telecasts for the games in New York (including the clubhouse trophy presentation ceremony after Game 6) and Porter doing likewise for the games in Los Angeles. (The pair also worked on CBS Radio's coverage of the Series, with Porter doing play-by-play of the games in New York and White the games in Los Angeles.)
1978 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC station; and in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KNBC-TV, the Los Angeles NBC station.
1979 - Locally, the ABC feed was carried in Pittsburgh by KDKA-TV, the Pirates' flagship TV station, and WTAE-TV, the Pittsburgh ABC station; and in Baltimore by WMAR-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WJZ-TV, the Baltimore ABC station.
1960 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate; and in Pittsburgh by WIIC, the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate.
As mentioned several times here, prior to the mid-1970s, television networks and stations generally didn't preserve their telecasts of sporting events, choosing instead to tape over them. As a result, the broadcasts of six of the seven 1960 games are no longer known to exist. The lone exception is a black-and-whitekinescope of the entire telecast of Game 7, which was discovered in a wine cellar in Bing Crosby's home in Hillsborough, California in December 2009. A part-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who was too superstitious to watch the Series live, Crosby listened to the decisive contest with his wife Kathryn and two friends on a shortwave radio in Paris, France. Wanting to watch the game at a later date only if the Pirates won, he arranged for a company to record it. After viewing the kinescope, he placed it in his wine cellar, where it went untouched for 49 years. It was finally found by Robert Bader, vice president of marketing and production for Bing Crosby Enterprises, while looking through videotapes of Crosby's television specials which were to be transferred to DVD. The five-reel set is the only known complete copy of the historic match, which was originally broadcast in color. The NBC television announcers for the Series were Bob Prince and Mel Allen, the primary play-by-play voices for the Pirates and New York Yankees respectively. Prince called the first half of Game 7, while Allen did the rest of the game.
1961 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Cincinnati by WLWT, the Reds' flagship TV station was well as the Cincinnati NBC affiliate; and in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate.
In contrast to preceding years, in which NBC's World Series telecasts featured two announcers (usually one from each participating team) who split the play-by-play, each working his portion of the game by himself, in 1961 NBC had Yankees announcer Mel Allen handle all of the play-by-play on television (with Reds announcer Waite Hoyt confined to radio) while Joe Garagiola provided color commentary. This format eventually became the standard form of presentation on World Series telecasts.
1962 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate; and in San Francisco by KTVU-TV, the Giants' flagship TV station, and KRON-TV, the San Francisco NBC affiliate.
1963 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KNBC, the Los Angeles NBC affiliate; and in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate.
During the fourth and final game of the series, Yankees announcer Mel Allen was calling the top of the ninth inning for NBC when his voice gave out due to a bout of severe laryngitis, forcing Dodgers announcer Vin Scully (who had called the first four-and-a-half innings of the game per the network's usual setup) to resume play-by-play duties for the remainder of the game. After the Series New York Daily News sportswriter Dick Young opined that Allen, the voice of the Yankees, had been stricken by "psychosomatic laryngitis" caused by his team being swept.
1964 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WPIX, the Yankees' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate; and in St. Louis by KSD-TV, the Cardinals' flagship TV station as well as the St. Louis NBC affiliate.
In 1964, the Yankees made the World Series for the 15th time in 19 years--but Mel Allen wasn't there. Back in September, before the end of the season, the Yankees informed Allen that his contract with the team would not be renewed. In those days, the main announcers for the Series participants always called the World Series on NBC. Although Allen was thus technically eligible to call the Series, Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick honored the Yankees' request to have Phil Rizzuto join the Series crew instead. It was the first time Allen had missed a World Series for which the Yankees were eligible since 1943, and only the second World Series (not counting those missed during World War II) that he'd missed since he began calling baseball games in 1938. On December 17, after much media speculation and many letters to the Yankees from fans disgruntled at Allen's absence from the Series, the Yankees issued a terse press release announcing Allen's firing; he was replaced by Joe Garagiola, who'd teamed with Rizzuto on the Series. NBC and Movietone dropped him soon afterward. To this day, the Yankees have never given an explanation for Allen's sudden firing, and rumors abounded. Depending on the rumor, Allen was either homosexual, an alcoholic, a drug addict, or had suffered a nervous breakdown. Allen's sexuality was sometimes a target in those more conservative days because he hadn't married (and never did). Years later, Allen told author Curt Smith that the Yankees had fired him under pressure from the team's longtime sponsor, Ballantine Beer. According to Allen, he was fired as a cost-cutting move by Ballantine, which had been experiencing poor sales for years (it would eventually be sold in 1969). Smith, in his book Voices of Summer, also indicated that the medications Allen took in order to maintain his busy schedule may have affected his on-air performance. (Stephen Borelli, another biographer, has also pointed out that Allen's heavy workload didn't allow him time to take care of his health.)
1965 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KNBC, the Los Angeles NBC affiliate; and in Minnesota by WTCN-TV, the Twins' flagship TV station, and KSTP-TV, the Twin Cities NBC affiliate.
1966 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Baltimore by WJZ-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WBAL-TV, the Baltimore NBC affiliate; and in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KNBC, the Los Angeles NBC affiliate.
Prior to 1966, NBC typically paired the top announcers for the respective World Series teams to alternate play-by-play during each game's telecast. For example, if the Yankees played the Dodgers in the World Series, Mel Allen (representing the Yankees) would call half the game and Vin Scully (representing the Dodgers) would call the rest of the game. However in 1966, NBC wanted their regular network announcer, Curt Gowdy, to call most of the play-by-play at the expense of the top local announcers. So instead of calling half of every World Series game on television (as Vin Scully had done in 1953, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, and 1965) they only get to call half of all home games on TV, providing color commentary while Gowdy called play-by-play for the rest of each game. The visiting teams' announcers participated in the NBC Radio broadcasts. In broadcasts of Series-clinching (or potentially Series-clinching) games on both media, NBC sent the announcer for whichever team was ahead in the game to that team's clubhouse in the ninth inning in order to help cover the trophy presentation and conduct post-game interviews.
1967 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in St. Louis by KSD-TV, the Cardinals' flagship TV station as well as the St. Louis NBC affiliate; and in Boston by WHDH-TV, the Red Sox' flagship TV station, and WBZ-TV, the Boston NBC affiliate.
1968 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Detroit by WJBK, the Tigers' flagship TV station, and WWJ-TV, the Detroit NBC affiliate; and in St. Louis by KSD-TV, the Cardinals' flagship TV station as well as the St. Louis NBC affiliate.
1969 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in New York by WOR-TV, the Mets' flagship TV station, and WNBC-TV, the New York City NBC affiliate; and in Baltimore by WJZ-TV, the Orioles' flagship TV station, and WBAL-TV, the Baltimore NBC affiliate.
By 1950, World Series games could be seen in most of the country, but not all. Also in 1950, the Mutual Broadcasting System acquired the exclusive television broadcast rights to the World Series and All-Star Game for the next six years. Mutual may have been reindulging in TV network dreams or simply taking advantage of a long-standing business relationship; in either case, the network sold its rights to NBC in time for the following season's games at an enormous profit.
For the 1957 and 1958 Series, both of which featured the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves, the games played in New York were televised in color while the games in Milwaukee were shown in black and white, due to the distance between the cities being too great for NBC's color equipment to be moved in time between games.
1959 - Locally, the NBC feed was carried in Los Angeles by KTTV, the Dodgers' flagship TV station, and KRCA, the Los Angeles NBC station; and in Chicago by WGN-TV, the White Sox' flagship TV station, and WNBQ, the Chicago NBC station.
Chicago White Sox announcer Bob Elson missed a chance to call the series - the team's first since 1919 and Elson's first since 1943 - to a national audience because the then-head of NBC Sports, Tom Gallery (who incidentally, grew up on the same block as Elson) didn't like him. Elson was, however, permitted to call the Series on the White Sox' radio flagship, WCFL.
The October 1947 Billboard reported over 3.9 million viewing the games, primarily on TV sets located in bars (5,400 tavern TV sets in NYC alone). The October 13, 1947 edition of Time magazine reported that President Truman, who had just made the first Oval Office TV appearance on October 5, 1947 and received the first TV for the White House, watched parts of the Series but "skipped the last innings".
All telecasts of World Series games starting with 1975 (Reds–Red Sox) are accounted for and exist. This is a full record of World Series telecasts prior to 1975 that are known to exist in whole or part:
1956 (Yankees–Dodgers) - The last three innings of Game 2 are known to exist. Game 3 is complete with original commercials, pre and post game show except for innings 2 and 3 and is available on DVD. Game 5, Don Larsen's perfect game, is complete except for the first inning. Game 5 was aired on the first night of the MLB Network on January 1, 2009, and is now available on DVD. Game 7 is complete except for the 2nd and 3rd innings and has also been released on DVD.
1957 (Yankees–Braves) - Games 1, 2 and 5 exist in their entirety and have been released on DVD. All of Game 3 (except for a snip of Tony Kubek's second home run in the top 7th inning) exists, as does the first six innings of Game 6 (both also released on DVD). Game 7 is believed to exist but has not been released.
1972 (A's–Reds) - Game 4 is the only complete game extant, along with most of Game 5, and some of Game 2. Only fragments remain from Games 1, 3 and 6; The complete pregame show and condensed action of the first three innings of Game 7 exist from a home recording.
1973 (A's–Mets) - Game 1 is the only complete game extant. Game 2 (which lasted four-plus hours) is missing various bits, including the last inning and a half (including both crucial Mike Andrews misplays at second base). Game 3 is complete except for the last inning. Game 4 lasts from just the pregame show to the top of the 4th inning. All that remains of Game 5 are the final two innings. Game 6 is entirely missing, and Game 7 cuts off with one out in the top of the 9th inning, missing the postgame celebrations. A 20-minute presentation tape of Series highlights, narrated by Curt Gowdy, was submitted to the Peabody Awards. The Peabody tape includes the two key Mike Andrews plays from Game 2, otherwise missing from the network archives.
1974 (A's-Dodgers) - Games 1-4 are complete, Game 5 exists in partial form.
ESPN Radio broadcast the 2010 World Series nationally, with Jon Miller (who worked the San Francisco Giants' local radio broadcasts during the regular season) calling his 13th consecutive World Series as the network's play-by-play announcer, and Joe Morgan providing commentary on his 11th World Series for ESPN Radio and his 14th overall (counting three Series telecasts for NBC). The games were the last that Miller and Morgan (who had also been calling Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN television since 1990) would work together, as the network subsequently announced that their contracts would not be renewed for 2011.ESPN Deportes Radio also aired the Series to Spanish language listeners, with Eduardo Ortega and former Giants pitcher Juan Marichal announcing.
Locally, the two teams' flagship stations broadcast the series with their respective announcing crews, with an additional requirement of acknowledging AutoZone, ESPN Radio's baseball broadcasting sponsor. The Giants' English-language broadcasts aired on KNBR (with Dave Flemming, Duane Kuiper, and Mike Krukow announcing) with their Spanish-language broadcasts on KIQI-AM (with Erwin Higueros and Tito Fuentes), while KRLD-FM and AM carried the Rangers' English-language broadcasts (with Eric Nadel and Dave Barnett) and KFLC-AM had their Spanish-language broadcasts (with Eleno Ornelas and Jerry Romo). Due to contractual obligations, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts of the games, although the local broadcasts were also available on XM Satellite Radio and to Gameday Audio subscribers at MLB.com.
Locally, the series was broadcast on the teams' flagship radio stations with their respective announcing crews. In San Francisco, KNBR aired the games in English (with Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming announcing), while KTRB broadcast in Spanish (with Erwin Higueros and Tito Fuentes announcing). In Kansas City, KCSP broadcast the games (with Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre announcing). Due to contractual obligations, the affiliate stations on the teams' radio networks had to carry the ESPN Radio feed of the games, although the local broadcasts were also available on Sirius and XM satellite radio and to Gameday Audio subscribers at MLB.com. In Kansas City, WHB carried the ESPN Radio feed in direct competition with KCSP's broadcast. This was the first World Series for which Jon Miller, who had been the Giants' primary radio announcer since 1997, called the final (see Note below), championship-clinching out to a local San Francisco audience.
Locally, the teams' flagship stations broadcast the series with their regular announcers. In Cleveland, WTAM (1100) and WMMS (100.7) carried the Indians' play-by-play with Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus, while in Chicago, WSCR (670) carried the Cubs' play-by-play with Pat Hughes, Ron Coomer, and Len Kasper. The affiliate stations of the teams' regional radio networks, however, were contractually obligated to carry the national ESPN Radio feed.
Locally, both teams' flagship radio stations broadcast the series with their regular announcers. In Houston, KBME aired the series with Robert Ford and Steve Sparks announcing. In Washington, WJFK-FM aired the series with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler calling the games. Per MLB rules, the teams' other radio affiliates were permitted to carry the series but were required to air the ESPN Radio broadcast.
During Game 3 of the 2000 World Series, ESPN Radio announcer Jon Miller was forced to leave the booth after the top of the first inning due to an upper respiratory infection. Charley Steiner, who was serving as a pre-game host and field reporter for the network, filled in on play-by-play for the rest of the game; Miller resumed his duties in Game 4 of the Series.
Jon Miller, who called the 2002 World Series for ESPN Radio, has been play-by-play man for the San Francisco Giants since 1997. Coincidentally, KNBR, the Giants' longtime flagship station, was also San Francisco's ESPN Radio affiliate at the time.
Locally, KTRH-AM and WMVP were the primary carriers for the 2005 World Series in the Houston and Chicago markets. For KTRH long time Astros voice Milo Hamilton provided play-by-play while John Rooney called the games for the White Sox. Game 4 was Rooney's last call after seventeen years as the radio voice of the White Sox, as he left to take the same position with the St. Louis Cardinals.
2006 - Locally, Dan Dickerson and Jim Price called the Series for the Tigers on WXYT-AM in Detroit (with retired, longtime Tiger announcer Ernie Harwell returning to call the second inning of Game 1), while Mike Shannon and John Rooney called it for the Cardinals on KTRS-AM in St. Louis. Per contractual obligation, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts. John Rooney had broadcast the 2005 Series for the Chicago White Sox, and thus became the first announcer to call back-to-back World Series championships as an employee of different teams.
2007 - Locally, Joe Castiglione and Glenn Geffner called the Series for the Red Sox on WRKO in Boston, while Jack Corrigan and Jeff Kingery called it for the Rockies on KOA in Denver. Per contractual obligation, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts.
Locally, Dave Wills, Andy Freed, Dewayne Staats and Joe Magrane called the Series in English for the Rays on WHNZ-AM in Tampa, with Ricardo Tavaras and Enrique Oliu working the Spanish broadcast on St. Petersburg's WGES-AM. Harry Kalas, Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen, and Chris Wheeler called the Phillies' English broadcasts on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia, with Spanish announcers Danny Martinez, Bill Kulik and Juan Ramos on WUBA. Following their contractual obligations, the non-flagship stations on the teams' radio networks carried the ESPN Radio broadcasts. MLB.com also carried the local radio broadcasts for online streaming, while XM Satellite Radio aired the local and national feeds to its subscribers. For Harry Kalas, this series brought together a father and son calling the series for different teams, with his son, Todd, calling the Series in English for the Rays. This World Series win had significance for Fox's Tim McCarver and Harry Kalas. Both were Phillies broadcasters in 1980, but neither one could call the final out. McCarver was a backup commentator for Game of the Week on NBC, but he was not part of the broadcast team that called the final out. For Kalas, MLB radio-broadcasting regulations forbade local stations from producing live coverage of World Series games, instead forcing them to air the national CBS Radio feed of the games. Philadelphia fans were so outraged about this afterward that they started a letter-writing campaign to the Commissioner's Office, demanding a change to the rule. The following year, MLB amended its broadcasting contracts to allow World Series teams' flagship radio stations to air the games with local announcers, due at least in part to this outcry from Philadelphia fans. In 2008, both called the Phillies' World Series win.
Locally, the Series was called on WOGL-AM in Philadelphia by Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Chris Wheeler and Andy Musser, and on CJCL-AM in Toronto by Jerry Howarth and Tom Cheek. Cheek's call of the Carter home run ("Touch 'em all Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!") lives on in Blue Jays folklore. This was Richie Ashburn's last World Series as a Phillies broadcaster, as he died in 1997. Andy Musser also called his last World Series as a member of the Phillies' broadcast team; he retired in 2001 and died eleven years later. Tom Cheek never called another postseason game in his role as voice of the Blue Jays, from which he retired in 2005 prior to his death from brain cancer. Meanwhile, Harry Kalas would not call another World Series until 2008. Kalas later died in 2009 prior to a game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.. Chris Wheeler continues to call games for the Phillies although in a limited capacity and Jerry Howarth has continued to call Blue Jays games, moving into the primary play-by-play position following the death of Cheek.
The 1997 World Series is the last World Series to date to be broadcast by the CBS Radio Network, who had covered the World Series consecutively since 1976. Vin Scully and Jeff Torborg called the 1997 World Series for CBS Radio (the latter had once managed the Cleveland Indians and would later manage the Florida Marlins). ESPN Radio would take over the national radio contract for Major League Baseball. This was Scully's eleventh and final call for CBS Radio in the World Series, and seventh consecutive since he rejoined the network following NBC's 1989 loss of baseball. As of 2011, this is also the last World Series broadcast to date for Scully who, in addition to his eleven CBS Radio World Series calls has called fourteen others for NBC and the Los Angeles Dodgers.). Torborg would continue to call games for Fox television until the end of the 2000 season, working alongside John Rooney and Chip Caray, when he elected to return to managing and was hired by the Montreal Expos.
Game 7 was the final Major League Baseball game called by longtime Indians radio announcer Herb Score, as he retired at season's end. Score's broadcast partner, Tom Hamilton, would take over as lead announcer the following year. It also marked the final game carried by Indians flagship station WKNR; the broadcast rights would be moved to WTAM for the 1998 season.
In 1985 and 1987, KMOX, the St. Louis Cardinals' flagship station at the time, simulcast with CBS Radio's World Series coverage involving the Cardinals. That was mainly because Jack Buck had a lengthy career calling Cardinals games for KMOX to go along with his national work for CBS Radio.
In 1985 and 1986, CBS Radio designated the fifth inning of each Series game as a "Home Team Inning." A local announcer for the visiting team would appear on the network's broadcast in the top of the fifth, with the home team announcer doing so in the bottom of the fifth.
... then you would run for Gibson and have Sax batting. But, we have a big 3–2 pitch coming here from Eckersley. Gibson swings, and a fly ball to deep right field! This is gonna be a home run! Unbelievable! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don't believe what I just saw! I don't believe what I just saw! Is this really happening, Bill? One of the most remarkable finishes to any World Series Game...a one-handed home run by Kirk Gibson! And the Dodgers have won it...five to four; and I'm stunned, Bill. I have seen a lot of dramatic finishes in a lot of sports, but this one might top almost every other one.
Win Elliot served as a color commentator on CBS Radio's coverage from 1976 to 1978, teaming with the respective local play-by-play announcers for each game's broadcast.
In 1977, Bill White did play-by-play for the games in Los Angeles on CBS Radio while Ross Porter handled the play-by-play for CBS in New York. Thus, when White was appearing on ABC-TV during the 1977 World Series, it was during the home games in a pre/postgame role (White would eventually cover the trophy presentation ceremony for ABC). Likewise, Porter handled White's TV role while in Los Angeles.
1979 was the first year in which one announcer (in this case, CBS Radio's Vin Scully) provided all of the play-by-play for a World Series radio broadcast. In prior years, the play-by-play announcers and color commentators had alternated roles during each game or between games.
CBS Radio, following the lead begun by ABC's television coverage in 1977, dropped the usage of the local broadcasters on play-by-play. They stopped using local announcers altogether when Vin Scully began doing the World Series as a CBS employee through 1982. (Beginning in 1981, however, participating teams' flagship radio stations were permitted to produce their own local World Series broadcasts and air them live. The affiliate stations in the teams' radio networks continued to be obligated to carry the CBS Radio broadcasts.)
Beginning in 1966 and continuing through 1975, a local announcer for the visiting team in each Series game would split play-by-play and color commentary with a neutral NBC Radio announcer. Prior to 1966 and going back to the dawn of the television era, Series radio broadcasts typically featured announcers from around the major leagues (generally pairing one announcer from an AL team and another from an NL team), with the regular announcers for both the home and visiting Series participants splitting play-by-play on NBC television. In broadcasts of Series-clinching (or potentially Series-clinching) games on both media, NBC sent the announcer for whichever team was ahead in the game to that team's clubhouse in the ninth inning in order to help cover the trophy presentation and conduct post-game interviews.
Fred Hoey was hired by CBS to call Games 1 and 5 of the 1933 World Series after commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis declared that CBS' Ted Husing and NBC's Graham McNamee could not call World Series play-by-play because they did not call any regular season games. Hoey was removed from the CBS broadcasting booth during the fourth inning of Game 1 after his voice went out. Although reported as a cold, Hoey's garbled and incoherent words led many to think that Hoey was drunk. After this incident, Hoey never went to the broadcast booth without a tin of throat lozenges.
The 1934 World Series broadcasts were the first that were sponsored. Ford gave CBS and NBC each US$500,000. Commissioner Landis barred Detroit Tigers announcer Ty Tyson from appearing on network radio, citing the risk of partiality in his commentary; however, when Tiger fans sent in more than 600,000 letters of protest, Landis agreed to allow Tyson to call the Series locally on Detroit station WWJ.
In 1939, Mutual and Gillette signed an agreement purchasing exclusive broadcast and sponsorship rights to the World Series for US$100,000. A special promotion of Gillette razors and blueblades sold four times better than company estimates and Gillette sought additional sports sponsorships. The Gillette stable of radio sports programs, which aired under the umbrella title of Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, spanned several different networks (including NBC, CBS, and Mutual) and grew to include not only ongoing sponsorship of the World Series and All-Star Game in baseball, but the annual Kentucky Derby in horseracing, the Rose Bowl Game and other college football games, and professional boxing. Mutual continued as the exclusive World Series radio network through 1956, while Gillette's exclusive sponsorship of the event extended into the early television era and continued until the late 1950s.
The 1923 World Series featured the first true, stadium originated radio broadcast of World Series games. Bill McGeehan did the play-by-play honors at first. However, when McGeehan reportedly tired of the chore, he quit in the middle of Game 3. Shortly thereafter, Graham McNamee took over play-by-play duties.
AT&T fed the 1923 World Series coverage by New York's WEAF via their long distance lines to stations as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Washington, D.C.
The 1927 World Series was the first to be broadcast from coast to coast over a full radio network.
Since 1981, the participating teams' flagship stations are permitted to air their own World Series broadcasts with their regular announcing crews. However, the teams' other radio network affiliates are contractually obligated to carry the national radio feeds.
Ryan Lefebvre (innings 3-4, 6-7, and even extra innings [Game 1 went 14 innings and Game 5 went 12 innings]) Josh Lewin (innings 3-4, 7, and even extra innings [Game 1 went 14 innings and Game 5 went 12 innings])
1982 marked the first time that teams' flagship radio stations were regularly permitted to produce their own local World Series radio broadcasts and air them live. In prior years, these stations were contractually required to carry the national radio networks' broadcasts (although they could produce re-created games with local announcers and air them after the Series had ended). The affiliate stations in the teams' radio networks continued to be obligated to carry the national broadcasts.
After thousands of Phillies fans--outraged over being unable to hear local team announcers Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn call the games during the 1980 World Series--deluged the team, the networks, and the Commissioner's office with angry letters and petitions, Major League Baseball changed its broadcast contract to allow the flagship radio stations for participating World Series teams to produce and air their own local Series broadcasts beginning in 1982. When the Phillies next won a World Series, in 2008, Kalas was able to make the call of the final out.
In 1985 and 1987, KMOX, the St. Louis Cardinals' flagship station at the time, simulcast with CBS Radio's World Series coverage involving the Cardinals. That was mainly because Jack Buck had a lengthy career calling Cardinals games for KMOX to go along with his national work for CBS Radio.