Peachtree TV Being Sold? 45 Braves Games May Need a New Television Home

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer IJanuary 18, 2011

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 11:  A general view of Turner Field during the game between the Atlanta Braves cheer and the San Francisco Giants during Game Four of the NLDS of the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Turner Field on October 11, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Update: The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that management of Peachtree TV is being taken over by Meredith Corp., the parent company of CBS Atlanta. 

Peachtree will still air 45 Braves games in the Atlanta market. But, production of those games will now be handled by Fox. As a result of this change, Fox Sports Net and SportsSouth will now air those games throughout the southeast. 

Previously, Comcast Sports South simulcasted the 45 Peachtree games to a limited number of households in the south. 

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Late Monday night, David O' Brien, Braves beat writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, posted the following to his Twitter account: 

I'm hearing that Turner's Peachtree TV channel is being sold, & the approx. 45 Braves games that it televises will be moved elsewhere.

O'Brien continued:

If true, that would mean no Braves games on Turner-owned properties for first time since the 1970s (other than TBS national games)

While the deal is apparently not completed yet, it appears, for the first since 1976, that a Braves game will not appear on a Turner-owned property in 2011. Excluding, of course, the potential to appear on the TBS Sunday National Game of the Week. 

Obviously, this would mark the end of an era for Braves baseball. 

TBS was the home of the Braves from 1976, when Ted Turner purchased the team, to 2007. As a result of the national exposure, the Braves became known as "America's Team."

This was despite the fact that the Braves were terrible for nearly a decade-and-a-half prior to the 14-year division title streak which began in 1991. 

TBS carried around 150 games a year until the early 90's. By 2007, the cable network was airing just 70 Braves games a year. 

When Turner, the man for whom the Braves home stadium is named, led the $7.5 Billion merger between Turner Broadcasting Systems and Time Warner in 1996, it turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Braves on TBS. 

In 2000, AOL and Time Warner merged. It was around that time that Turner South, a regional cable network was formed.

With TBS showing between 70-90 Braves games and Fox Sports Net showing 25 per season, Turner South became the Braves television home for 35-plus games a year. 

In 2006, Time Warner sold Turner South to Fox Cable Networks while looking to unload the Braves as well. Coincidentally, Ted Turner stepped down as Vice Chairman of Time Warner that very same year.

In 2007, the Braves played their final game on TBS. 

During that '07 season it was announced that WTBS, the local station that blossomed into the superstation, was being re-branded to Peachtree TV.

Throughout the Braves glory years on the TBS SuperStation, Atlanta received only the local feed. The national TBS brand was not available in the Atlanta market until this re-branding took place. 

With Fox Sports Net and Fox-owned SportsSouth set to become the primary carriers of Braves games in 2008, there were still more than a handful of games to account for. With the re-creation of the local station, Peachtree was slated to air 45 games a year.

Through a simulcasting deal between Atlanta based Peachtree TV (WPCH) and Comcast Sports Net, Braves fans across the Southeast could still pick those games up. 

Now, with the rumored sale of Peachtree, the television home for those 45 games, a little over one-quarter of the season, could be up in the air yet again. 

From 1976-2010, the Braves association with the Turner brand could be seen in millions of households through the medium of television.

In 2011, the only link between the Braves and the Turner name could merely be a handful of signs at 755 Henry Aaron Drive. 

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