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But I did get the cycling pass to watch things others than the TDF and to watch it ad-free. No offense to the knowledgeable Aussie fellows who prattle on continually in the ad-free version but I was hoping for Bob Roll and Phil Liggett, et al. It seems stupid and perhaps a bit misleading? My hat is off to the aussies who can keep up a conversation for 3 to 4 hours though.

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History[ edit ] Beginnings through the s[ edit ] NBC's coverage of the National Football League which has aired under numerous program titles and formats actually goes back to the beginnings of the network's relationship with the league in , when its New York City flagship station , then known as W2XBS now WNBC aired the first televised professional football game [2] between the Philadelphia Eagles and the now-defunct Brooklyn Dodgers football team.

The network had taken over the broadcast rights from the DuMont Television Network , which had struggled to give the league a national audience NBC's coverage of proto- Canadian Football League games from the year prior was more widely available at the time and was on the brink of failure; the NFL's associations with NBC as well as with CBS proved to be a boost to the league's popularity.

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This game, since known as the "Greatest Game Ever Played", was seen by many throughout the country and is credited with increasing the popularity of professional football in the late s and early s. The contract for the title game was separate than the regular season contracts held by CBS , which started televising NFL games in Prior to , each team had its own individual television contract.

This was in contrast to the American Football League as well as established practice in college football , both of which forced all of their members to participate in a collective television contract. As the legality of such a collective contract was still in question at the time, and would eventually be declared illegal in , the NFL did not pursue such a contract until Congress explicitly allowed for the NFL to do so, with conditions, in the Sports Broadcasting Act of While the games were blacked out in Pittsburgh and Baltimore , they were broadcast on other NBC stations.

In some cases, the game broadcast was seen on CBS in the visiting team's home region. NBC covered eleven games in and 13 games in in a "Game of the Week" format.

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NBC would take one week off due to its coverage of the World Series. NBC televised the Pro Bowl following the and seasons and again from the to seasons. NBC resumed football telecasts on a regular basis in Although they would not officially fully merge and adopt an interlocking schedule until , two of the conditions of the agreement were that the winners of each league's championship game would meet in a contest which would eventually become known as the Super Bowl to determine the "world champion of football", and that there would be a common player draft.

As a result, NBC's crew had little to no control over how the game was filmed. NBC did have some problems with the dual telecast; the network did not return in time from a halftime commercial break for the start of the second half.

Therefore, the first kickoff was stopped by the game's officials and was redone once NBC returned to the broadcast. Curt Gowdy handled the play-by-play duties and was joined by color commentators Al DeRogatis and Kyle Rote in the broadcast booth. Also helping with NBC's coverage were Jim Simpson reporting from the sidelines and Pat Summerall helping conduct player interviews for the pregame show, along with Rote.

In an interview later done with NFL Films , Gowdy called it the most memorable game he ever called because of its historical significance. This game is thought to be the earliest surviving Super Bowl game preserved on videotape in its entirety save for a portion of the Baltimore Colts ' fourth quarter scoring drive.

As its nationally televised game between the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets running late, the network discontinued coverage while the game was still playing to air the movie Heidi just moments after the Jets' Jim Turner kicked what appeared to be the game-winning field goal with remaining.

While millions of irate fans, missing the finale, jammed NBC's phone lines, the Raiders scored two touchdowns in eight seconds during the final minute to win 43— The reaction to The Heidi Game resulted in the AFL, and most other sports leagues, demanding thereafter that television networks broadcast all games to their conclusion.

NFL contracts with the networks now require games to be shown in a team's market area to conclusion, regardless of the score. The network installed a new phone in the control room wired to a separate exchange, becoming known as the Heidi Phone, to prevent this situation from occurring in the future.

For the next decade, Gowdy was the lead play-by-play announcer for the network for both AFL football AFC from onward and Major League Baseball games; however, Gowdy also covered a wide range of sports, earning him the nickname of the "broadcaster of everything.

On January 17, , NBC's telecast of Super Bowl V between the Baltimore Colts and Dallas Cowboys was viewed in an estimated 23,, homes, the largest household audience ever for a one-day sports event. The game was called by play-by-play announcer Gowdy and color commentator Rote. The blackout was challenged in Miami-Dade District Court by attorney Ellis Rubin , and although the judge denied Rubin's request since he felt he did not have the power to overrule the NFL, he agreed with Rubin's argument that the blackout rule was unnecessary for the Super Bowl.

Despite the league's unconditional blackout rules that normally would have prohibited the live telecast from being shown locally, the NFL allowed the game to be telecast in the Los Angeles area on KNBC on an experimental basis when all tickets for the game were sold.

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The league then changed its blackout rules the following season to allow games sold out at least 72 hours in advance to be televised in the host market. No subsequent Super Bowl has ever been blacked out in the city it has been played in, since all of them have been sold out.

Simpson as he rushed for 2, yards in one season. NFL telecasts were cancelled. Either way, you win at NBC. Three days of rain in Boston forced Game 6 to be postponed until the following Tuesday, October 21, followed by Game 7 the next night. On January 9, , Only three other television events prior to that time, all of which aired on all three commercial networks of the era the funeral of President John F.

Nixon , attracted more viewers than Super Bowl IX. The game was also the last broadcast that color commentator Don Meredith, who called the game with Gowdy, did for NBC, as he returned to ABC to rejoin the Monday Night Football crew for the season , where he had been a commentator from — On October 12, , Commissioner Pete Rozelle negotiated contracts with the three television networks to televise all NFL regular season and postseason games, as well as select preseason games, for four years beginning with the season.

Industry sources considered it the largest single television package ever negotiated.

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After the World Series , Curt Gowdy was removed from NBC's baseball telecasts, when sponsor Chrysler insisted on having Joe Garagiola who served as a spokesman in many of the automotive manufacturer's commercials be the lead play-by-play voice.

Enberg had essentially succeeded Gowdy as NBC's lead NFL play-by-play announcer in the regular season, and network producers did not decide until nearly the last minute which of them would conduct play-by-play for that year's Super Bowl.

NBC preceded the game with the first network broadcast of Black Sunday , a film that depicts a terrorist attack on a fictitious Super Bowl game in the Orange Bowl between Pittsburgh and Dallas and which utilized footage shot during Super Bowl X.

The pregame festivities featured the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and several military bands. The Colgate Thirteen performed the national anthem. A technical glitch led to Fleming and Cope's commentary going out over NBC's television broadcast in place of the network's own audio during the coin toss ceremony.

Television ratings in were the second-best in NFL history, trailing only the combined ratings of the season. All three networks posted gains, and NBC's ABC finished with a NBC however, was down slightly to NBC's national Nielsen rating of Following the game, NBC aired the premiere episode of The A-Team , beginning the tradition of the game's host network airing programming after the game.

The Steelers won that day. It was the only loss the 49ers suffered in the season. The package included 27 regular season games and 10 postseason games. The season saw a new theme utilized throughout both the pregame show and game-opening sequence, which would be utilized for the remainder of the decade.

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This segment would be featured at the beginning of the pregame show for much of the latter part of the s. In addition to drawing a An estimated million Chinese viewers watched a tape delayed broadcast of the game in March. NBC Radio figures indicated an audience of 10 million for the game.

During September of the season , NBC brought in some legendary broadcasters to fill-in for their regular play-by-play men.

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Bob Costas' predecessor, Len Berman , filled-in for him at the anchor's desk while Gayle Sierens who a year earlier , made history by becoming the first female play-by-play announcer in NFL history was also added to the studio team.

The game was Merlin Olsen's final Super Bowl broadcast, as he was demoted [10] the following season to make room for Bill Walsh. The versions used on the pre-game show are different from the version supplied on Tesh's albums.

This contract saw each network having rights to one Super Bowl telecast as part of the package. NBC won the bid, and since they were last in the rotation for Super Bowl coverage in the regular contract, ended up with two straight Super Bowls although they were originally scheduled to broadcast Super Bowl XXVI ; CBS instead televised the game as part of a swap with the network.

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