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CBS Drops the Ball

     One of the pro football "firsts" accomplished by the American Football League was having all its regular and post-season games, from its very first season in 1960, telecast on a national television network, with nationwide sponsorship. They were first carried on ABC-TV and later on NBC-TV.

    The NFL followed suit in 1962 with a CBS-TV contract.  CBS imitated the lead of some print media in its treatment of the American Football League.  The CBS Director of Sports Broadcasting at the time was Tex Schramm.  Schramm had just finished several years in the employ of Pete Rozelle, with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams. The lead broadcasting team for CBS-TV was the Pat Summerall/Tom Brookshier crew, both former NFL players.
     In an unsavory example of irresponsible sports journalism, the CBS-TV announcers on its broadcasts of NFL games completely ignored the AFL, and on game days, refused to give American Football League scores.

     Because this kept news of the AFL from viewers in the NFL's "larger market" cities, it effectively misrepresented the AFL to millions of potential fans, compounding the poor press given the AFL by the print media in those cities.  CBS-TV also set the precedent for "NFL snobbery" by certain networks. In slightly modified form, it continues today.   Because FOX-TV now carries the "larger market" NFC, FOX airs insipid commercials that say "The BIG stories are in the NFC . . . and the NFC is on FOX!"  The misguided logic was apparently that since NFL (or NFC) games were broadcast to the "larger market" NFL cities, more viewers watched, so the NFL was better!

     For its 1960s pandering to its "partner", the NFL, and for failing to broadcast ALL pro football scores, CBS-TV gets a stall in the "American Football League Hall of Infamy".

Paul Brown PFRA

Tex Maule

89th US
"pro football"
Hall of Fame
Bud Adams


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