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Volume 25 No. 210
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FOX TO TURN BACK CLOCKS, WILL CARRY MLB RETRO BROADCAST

          Fox Sports will show part of the August 26 Dodgers-Cubs
     game in black and white "to commemorate" the 61st
     anniversary of the first televised baseball game on August
     26, 1939, according to Michael Buteau of BLOOMBERG NEWS. 
     The game "will feature a different television production
     technique for every inning," beginning in black and white
     "with only one camera located directly on the ground behind
     home plate and another in the upper deck, the same way the
     first game was broadcast" featuring Dodgers-Reds from
     Brooklyn's Ebbets Field.  Additionally, because instant
     replay was not developed until the '60's, "viewers won't see
     a replay until the fifth inning."  As the broadcast
     progresses, the announcers "will explain the upcoming
     technological changes and provide a historical retrospective
     of each era" (BLOOMBERG, 8/11).  The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's
     Michele Greppi writes that each inning will be introduced by
     FSN anchor Keith Olbermann from L.A., "who will tell viewers
     about the history, music, fashion and perhaps even
     broadcast-rights rates of the respective eras."  Greppi:
     "That means no instant replay or analysis by Tim McCarver
     for the first five innings, no 'Fox box' statistics or
     microphones on the managers until the eighth inning and no
     'catcher-cam' until the ninth.  That means there will be no
     Internet voting on favorite style of coverage until after
     the game is over and the full arsenal of graphics, video,
     audio and technological toys ... has been redeployed"
     (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/11).  Fox Sports President Ed Goren
     said that Olbermann will appear "in period attire" each
     inning and Fox will recreate graphics and use footage and
     commercials from each era to provide the "look" for each
     decade (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 8/11).  
          SO FAR, SO GOOD: In Chicago, Ed Sherman writes, "As far
     as sports television gimmicks go, this one rates several
     notches above the football game without announcers, the
     bathroom break during the Super Bowl and, of course, the
     infamous glowing puck."  Goren said that the idea for the
     broadcast "came during the furor over the NBA's edict that
     coaches be miked" for national games (see THE DAILY, 2/28),
     a move that "sparked criticism that television had become
     too invasive."  Goren: "[Fox Sports Chair] David Hill said
     if people think we're lousing up the game, maybe we should
     do a game to show them how it was back then" (CHICAGO
     TRIBUNE, 8/11).  In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes, "Hey,
     this sounds like fun.  In fact, it seems like such a good
     idea, you wonder why no one has tried something like it
     before now.  Go, Fox Sports" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/11).