Major League Baseball on SportsChannel

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Major League Baseball on SportsChannel refers to the now defunct SportsChannel's television coverage of Major League Baseball on its respective regional sports networks.


SportsChannel Bay Area/Pacific (1990–1998)[edit]

SportsChannel Chicago (1987–1997)[edit]

The network began in April 1982 as Sportsvision, a joint venture between then-new owner Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, his fellow White Sox co-owner, television sports producer and promoter Eddie Einhorn, and Fred Eychaner, then-owner of local UHF station WPWR (then on Channel 60, now Channel 50). Since the city of Chicago was one of the last major cities not fully equipped for cable television, Sportsvision was initially an over-the-air subscription service, broadcasting over WPWR during nights and weekends. Viewers had to purchase a set-top converter and pay a monthly fee to view the telecasts, which included Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox games, plus college sports of local interest. Some games / events were also on the ONTV channel at the same time. At this point, the Bulls and White Sox continued to broadcast a number of over-the-air games, while the Blackhawks moved all of their broadcasts to Sportsvision, after many years broadcasting over WSNS (Channel 44). Channel 44 also had ON TV at the time and Sportsvision and ON TV were a joint venture as well and there were set-top converters with a switch to view ON TV or Sportsvision. In 1984 SOX games were on ON TV as well.

The decision of moving most of the White Sox broadcasts to pay television led to longtime announcer Harry Caray to become the play-by-play voice of the rival Cubs, due to the limited exposure that the White Sox would get in having the majority of games being seen in fewer homes. Chicago was (and is still to this day) one of the very few television markets in the country where a very large percentage of the home baseball teams' games were available over-the-air. Until the mid-1990s, the Cubs still televised all of their non-national (ABC, NBC, and later CBS) games over WGN-TV and a regional network of stations throughout parts of the Midwest.

In October 2004, FSN Chicago lost broadcast rights to all of the professional sports teams in the Chicago area when the owners of the Bulls, the White Sox, the Blackhawks, and the Cubs decided to end their agreement with the network and partnered with Comcast to form Comcast SportsNet Chicago. This led to a number of cable/satellite providers dropping the network.

SportsChannel Florida (1987–2000)[edit]

In addition to national SportsChannel programming, it also showed select New York Yankees, New York Mets and Chicago White Sox games which were produced by SportsChannel New York and SportsChannel Chicago.

In 1996, Wayne Huizenga purchased a 70% controlling interest in SportsChannel Florida from Rainbow Media (by that time, a joint venture between Cablevision and NBC). That led Huizenga to move his Florida Marlins from the Sunshine Network in favor of SportsChannel in 1997. In 1998, SportsChannel Florida gained rights to MLB expansion team Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

SportsChannel Los Angeles (1989–1992)[edit]

SCLA featured live play-by-play of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the California Angels.

SportsChannel New York (1979–1998)[edit]

New York Yankees and New York Mets games were shown on the network. The Yankees telecasts moved to the MSG Network in the 1989 MLB season (Cablevision did not own the MSG Network at that time).

SportsChannel Ohio (1989–1998) and Cincinnati (1989–1998)[edit]

The channel originally launched on February 9, 1989 and officially launched on September 1 of that year as SportsChannel Ohio, an affiliate of SportsChannel, a joint venture between Cablevision and NBC. It featured Cleveland Indians and select Cincinnati Reds games (produced by SportsChannel Cincinnati).

See also[edit]