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The NFL on DuMont
Format Sports program
Created by DuMont Sports
Starring See announcers section below
Country of origin  United States
Production
Running time 180 minutes or until game ends
Broadcast
Original channel DuMont
Original run 19511955

The NFL on DuMont was an American television program that broadcast National Football League games on the now defunct DuMont Television Network.[1] The program ran from 1951 to 1955.

Contents

History

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1951-1952

On December 23, 1951, DuMont televised the first ever coast-to-coast professional football game, the NFL Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. DuMont paid $75,000 for the rights to broadcast the game.[2]

In 1952, DuMont only aired New York Giants games before moving to a more national scope the following season.

1953-1954

During the 1953[3] and 1954 seasons, DuMont broadcast Saturday night NFL games. It was the first time that National Football League games were televised live, coast-to-coast, in prime time, for the entire season. This predated Monday Night Football on ABC by 17 years.[4] Nearly all the games in 1953 and 1954 originated in New York (Giants), Pittsburgh (Steelers), or Washington (Redskins). (All three of these cities had DuMont O&Os.)[5]

In 1953, DuMont became the first television network to televise a Thanksgiving Classic when it aired a game between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. They also broadcast the 1954 game as well.

In January 1955, DuMont obtained rights from the Los Angeles Newspaper Charities to cover the Pro Bowl only one week before the game date. As they had trouble lining up affiliates to cover the game on such short notice, the telecast was cancelled.

1955

By 1955, the DuMont network was beginning to crumble. For instance, in 1955, NBC replaced DuMont as the network for the NFL Championship Game, paying a rights fee of $100,000.[6] ABC acquired the rights to the Thanksgiving game. Meanwhile, most teams (sans the Giants, Eagles and Steelers, who received regionalized coverage from DuMont) were left to fend for themselves in terms of TV coverage.

DuMont ceased most entertainment programs (and a nightly newscast) in early April 1955. DuMont still broadcast some sports events (a Monday-night boxing show and the 1955 NFL season) until August 1956, when the network as a whole shut down for good.

Announcers

Status of broadcasts today

It appears no copies of any of the DuMont Network NFL broadcasts survive today. It's reported that DuMont's entire programming archive was destroyed after the network ceased to exist; even if DuMont's programming had been saved, the games were broadcast live and may have never been recorded in the first place, given the high expense of videotape at the time.

Relationship with the NFL on Fox

WTTG and New York's WABD (later WNEW-TV, and now WNYW) survived as Metromedia-owned independents until 1986, when Metromedia was purchased by the News Corporation to form the nucleus of the new Fox Broadcasting Company. Clarke Ingram, who maintained a DuMont memorial site, has suggested that Fox can be considered a revival, or at least a linear descendant, of DuMont.[7] Indeed, WNYW is still headquartered in the former DuMont Tele-Centre, now known as the Fox Broadcasting Center.

See also

References

External links


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