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World Football League


Basically, every football fan knows that in order for a new league to survive the early goings, it needed to have a television contract. The World Football League was no exception. They knew they had to get a TV deal done, and fast. I guess they approached the three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), but they didn't take the bait.

Of all the weird ways it went to get itself shown on TV, the WFL settled for a network called TVS, which basically was a syndicated network. What this meant was that TVS would try to sell the games to independent television stations across the country. The stations would buy the rights to show the games live and broadcast them at the scheduled time. The TVS network was owned by Eddie Einhorn, co-owner of the Chicago White Sox. He hired Merle Harmon and Alex Hawkins to do the play-by-play of all WFL games shown on TVS.

TVS managed to get more than 170 stations to show its games, meaning that 85 percent of the nation would have a chance to see the new league in action live. The WFL claimed that 10 million people watched the games on their local TVS affiliates. The 22 games that TVS covered were mainly Thursday nights, but when that part of the schedule ended, or was modified, the remaining part of TVS' WFL schedule was unknown. They did do the playoffs and the World Bowl.

TVS did not cover the WFL games in 1975 as they did the year before. The independent stations in the league's eleven cities and around the country were left to cover the teams on TV. Any way you slice it, the WFL had problems, and so did TVS. I think, if I'm not mistaken, that TVS also did WHA games. Please correct me on this if this is incorrect.

Here is an incomplete list of the stations TVS hooked up with for WFL broadcasts. If anyone has any other station info, please let me know.

Station City
KTTV Anaheim, CA
WRET Charlotte, NC
WGN Chicago, IL
WXIX Cincinnati, OH
WKBD Detroit, MI
WKYT Lexington, KY
KHJ Los Angeles, CA
KTLA Los Angeles, CA
WDRB Louisville, KY
WGNO New Orleans, LA
WOR New York City, NY
KTVU Oakland/San Francisco, CA
WPHL Philadelphia, PA
WTAF Philadelphia, PA
WPGH Pittsburgh, PA
KPTV Portland, OR
KTNT Seattle, WA
WIXT Syracuse, NY
WDCA Washington, DC

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