We live in a time where baseball, and sports for that matter live at our fingertips.
We can turn on ESPN and find a baseball game 3 nights a week. Games are on in local markets nightly now, but believe it or not it wasn’t always that way.
In 1976 there were no regional sports networks, no ESPN, no nightly baseball.
In 1976 cable television was in its infancy. Enter Ted Turner.
A young media mogul who owned a TV network and a baseball team and ultimately a vision to bring the two together for an unlikely yet innovative marriage.
In 1976 Turner launched his fledging network (then known as TBS SUPERSTATION) signal on satellite making it available to cable providers across the United States.
Now for the first time there was baseball in primetime every night.
This experiment was a risky one, one that may not have worked had it not been for the original voices of TBS Skip Caray Pete Van Wieren and Ernie Johnson sr.
In these early days th Braves were bad, atrocious really, but people watched. Those who wanted baseball in the evenings had no choice.
They watched those bad teams in particular because they were above all entertained and informed.
Van Wieren informed and enlightened, Caray entertained and nobody did it better.
Nobody DID IT. PERIOD.
The Braves averaged a 2.0 in those days solid ratings for cable.
Incentive enough for ESPN to put baseball to its evening line up. Enough to put the world series in prime time on network tv.
Lets face it Ted Turner had the idea, his voices made it work. Together they changed the game.
Together is where they belong... in baseball’s Hall of Fame.
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