|The NFL on DuMont|
|Created by||DuMont Sports|
|Starring||See announcers section below|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|Running time||180 minutes or until game ends|
|Original run||1951 – 1955|
DuMont's NFL coverage consisted of contracts the network signed with individual NFL teams. Only for the NFL Championship Game did the network actually sign a contract with the league. Some teams did not have deals with DuMont; instead selling television rights to local stations, independent producers, or breweries who were major sponsors and who also packaged the telecasts.
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.
During the 1953 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. Several of 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.)
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.
DuMont normally used a single announcer for its telecasts, a departure from modern practice where a play-by-play announcer is paired with a color commentator. Several of DuMont's championship game broadcasts did have color commentators.
DuMont proved to be a less than ideal choice for a national broadcaster. The network had only eighteen primary affiliates in 1954, dwarfed by the 120 available to NBC (altghough a number of stations that had DuMont "secondary" affiliations did carry some NFL games, mainly on Sunday afternoons). Coverage of Canadian football's "Big Four" was more readily available on NBC than NFL games were in most markets on DuMont.
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.
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. 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.
- Frankie Albert
- Jim Britt
- Ken Coleman
- John Fitzgerald
- Earl Gillespie
- Red Grange
- Tom Harmon
- Herman Hickman
- Bob Kelley
- Bill McColgan
- Steve Owen
- Van Patrick
- Bob Prince
- Bob Reynolds
- Byrum Saam
- Chris Schenkel
- Ray Scott
- Chuck Thompson
- Joe Tucker
- Don Wattrick
- Harry Wismer
Status of broadcasts todayEdit
It appears no copies of any of the DuMont Network NFL broadcasts survive today. It is 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, and the high unlikelihood that they would have been recorded via kinescope for later viewing by their few sparse affiliates and stations in the west.
- 1951 NFL Championship Game
- 1952 NFL Championship Game
- 1953 NFL Championship Game
- 1954 NFL Championship Game
- List of NFL Championship Game broadcasters
- NFL on television'
- ↑ The DuMont Television Network Historical Web Site
- ↑ Google Search 1951
- ↑ December 23, 1951 in History
- ↑ Google Search - 1952
- ↑ Telecasts of complete professional games would not appear until 1953 on DuMont. NFL football on television, as we know it today, would have to wait for a decade, and the arrival of television-minded NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, before it made an impact on network television.
- ↑ Google Search - 1953
- ↑ Google Search - 1954
- ↑ ABC wasn't the first network to try football in prime time. In the early 1950s, the now-defunct DuMont network broadcast pro football on Saturday nights, but a lack of affiliates and interest killed the concept (not to mention DuMont).
- ↑ The DuMont Television Network: Channel Twelve: Feedback
- ↑ http://www.profootballresearchers.org/Coffin_Corner/24-04-946.pdf
- ↑ Google Search - 1955
- ↑ NFL.com - NFL History (1955)
- ↑ Aug 8, 1956 - On August 8, 1956, The DuMont network offered its final telecast: a boxing card. CBS inherits the rest of the Dumont/NFL football deal.
- NFL on DuMont at the Internet Movie Database (Pro Football Highlights)
- NFL on DuMont at the Internet Movie Database (Football Sidelines)
- NFL on DuMont at the Internet Movie Database (Football This Week)
- Sportscasting History
- NFL Commentator Crews
| This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at NFL on DuMont.|
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with American Football Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.