NO RADIO FOR YOU!

Most major league activity in 1936 took place East of the Mississippi, and even in those cities blessed with a Major League team the only way you could follow your team was often either to buy a ticket or read about the action in the newspapers.  Radio coverage in major league cities existed but was sporadic and spotty.  The two-team cities of Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Chicago had reached an agreement not to broadcast away games. In New York, no games, whether away or home, were available for broadcast. (It was not until 1938 that the New York teams allowed broadcasts of home games.)  

The Cincinnati and Chicago owners were more progressive.  A number of Reds games were broadcast in 1936 and the entire Cubs schedule was available to the radio listening public in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The concern of most of the owners and the Commissioner, on behalf of the leagues, was that fans would not come to the parks if the games were broadcast.  This extended to concerns about fan attendance in the minor league markets.   In an  April 28, 1936 twenty-six word statement, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis warned both major and minor league clubs not to extend any further commitments for radio broadcasts of their games.  The written order came after Landis heard pleas from minor league officials to curtail radio coverage to their markets, the officials telling Landis that too many fans in minor league cities were choosing to listen to broadcasts of major league games rather than attending  minor league games in their home cities.  Gate receipts were dwindling, the minor league officials complained. 

As  AL President William Harridge remarked  to reporters, “It is amazing how many small radio stations in the minor league territory have started to broadcast major league games by telegraphic descriptions.”  He and other major league officials vowed to consider, at the close of the ’36 season, curbs for next season on major league radio broadcasts coverage to minor league territories.

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One Response to “NO RADIO FOR YOU!”

  1. Mr. Baseball Says:

    Great stuff all around!

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