09.30.07

America’s Team No More – TBS Cancels The Atlanta Braves

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 11:21 am by

Once upon a time, Atlanta Braves telecasts (along with NWA Wrestling) were the foundation of Turner Broadcasting’s WTBS. Today, the Braves are as poor a fit for the cable superstation as Bob Horner’s trousers on a normal-sized person, explains the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Tim Tucker.

The Braves’ season finale at Houston marks the end of an era that began in 1977, when Ted Turner had the novel notion of bouncing his bad baseball team’s games off a satellite to cable systems nationwide. Although Braves games will continue to be televised in Atlanta and much of the Southeast, the team no longer will be national programming on TBS ” a casualty of the evolution of the TV industry.

“A very important part of my life won’t be there anymore,” said Bill DeArmond of Winfield, KS, a college professor who credits the distant team with helping him through personal tragedies.

As the number of channels ” and baseball teams ” available on television has exploded, the national audience for Braves games has eroded. From a peak rating of 4.9 in 1983, the national Nielsen cable rating for Braves games is down 84 percent, to 0.8 this season ” an average audience of 716,000 households. (The rating is the percentage of U.S. cable TV households tuned in on average.)

So like countless other TV shows of declining popularity, the Braves are being … canceled.

“It’s going to be hard, going to be a very emotional day,” said longtime Braves broadcaster Skip Caray, who will call today’s game with his broadcaster son, Chip Caray. “These [viewers], we’ve been a big part of their family. The connection is going to be severed, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to them.”

The Braves played a key role in sustaining the cable industry through its infancy.

“Without that [programming], a lot of cable systems would have died,” said Terry McGuirk, at the time Turner’s right-hand man and now the Braves’ president. “I remember going over to Charleston one time, and the cable-system guy had, like, 15 VCRs playing tapes of really bad-quality stuff. Then all of a sudden, we arrive on the satellite with the Braves.”

4 Responses to “America’s Team No More – TBS Cancels The Atlanta Braves”

  1. Rog says:

    Hmm, they didn’t mention that the Braves got sold and have no real relationship with TBS anymore, or to Turner for that matter.

  2. chris says:

    they forgot to mention that no body watches the braves because managment doesnt spend any money. yeah texiera(sp?) was a nice pickup but come on i love john smoltz but really how old is he. and hudson is not the pitcher everyone thought while he was in oakland.

  3. james flanary says:

    THE IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE IN A LONG TIME HOW ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE BIG BRAVES FANS SUPOST TO WATCH THE GAME I THINK THAT THE BRAVES AN TBS AS A PART OF MY SUMMER GETTING RID OF IT MAKES ME SO UPSET I FEEL THAT THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT BACK

  4. troy nichols says:

    that was the dumbest move tbs could have made by taking americas team off the air. it seems every year that past, the more gets taken from americans. i think its all about capitol for the rich mans pockets, like everything else in this country anymore. unfortunately, as long as we keep acting like we have no say in anything, we will keep losing everything as we know it. its time mid-class and below americans buck-up and quit getting pushed around. i am a die-hard atlanta braves fan, and to know that i can’t watch them anymore during the summer pisses me off, because we all know it’s all money driven. baseball should be promoted as americas sport for our youth, not for the greedy mans pockets. where is our america going? i have a hard time wondering what it will be like for my kids to have any chance to be involved in the wonderful world of sports if they are not rich in the near future,or anything for that matter anymore. i miss the america that took care of there own, doesn’t happen anymore it seems. GO ATLANTA BRAVES FROM THE NICHOLS FAMILY! my first summer without the braves will be long for me and my son, so hopefully we can catch them on t.v. during the post season. thanks for listening to me vent.

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