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Broadcaster looks at the future of TV sports

January 3, 2009 |  6:00 am
1949_0103_harmon_pix

1949_0103_harmon01 The story posed a simple question: Would television hurt or help sports attendance?


'Television is only a very good substitute for the actual game. The camera cannot cover all of the interesting factors. And to the real sports addict, yelling "Kill the umpire!" at the television tube is small satisfaction for his feelings.'

The Times published a piece by former college football star Tom Harmon, who in 1949 was the sports director of KFI-TV (an early version of Channel 9 in Los Angeles).

He believed television would introduce people to new sports and draw them to the games.

1949_0103_harmon02"Television is only a very good substitute for the actual game," Harmon wrote. "The camera cannot cover all of the interesting factors. And to the real sports addict, yelling 'Kill the umpire!' at the television tube is small satisfaction for his feelings."

Harmon also discussed how television would change the announcer's role: "The announcer must have the memory of an elephant and know what he's talking about. ... The announcer cannot make a mistake."

Wonder what Harmon would think if he spent a day in 2009 watching sports from local to cable.

--Keith Thursby

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