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Sports Broadcasting in the '80s


Sports has been an integral part of many people’s lives for decades. Once, you could only know the score from the newspapers. Then came the radio and, finally, television which made the live broadcasting of sporting events possible. Let’s take a journey back to the '80s to see how people could watch and cheer for their favorite sports teams and players back then.

A quick look at the radio

Sports radio in the '80s was thriving because TV broadcasting had still a lot to improve. A great number of people gathered around this one device to cheer the teams, celebrate the victories, and cry over the lost chances. Among the most popular sports disciplines at that time were hockey as well as football. Fans all over the world listened to the live broadcasts of the international as well as divisional games and tournaments. Why did people still rely on the radio when there was television that gave access to the whole event? Mostly due to the fact that the broadcasts were still flawed. Before we move on to the good and bad sides of the '80s sports TV, let’s focus on some memorable moments from radio history.

As during the '80s, a great number of sports fans still relied on radio, a few important events has been stashed in memory of the next generations and are now strongly associated with the radio history itself. One is the event called “The Miracle on Ice” of 1980. It was a hockey game that took place in New York. The US team was playing against the strong opponent, the USSR team. American hockey players were the underdogs and not many experts believed they could be victorious. However, the odds changed, and the US team won the game. Their victory followed a long, emotional game broadcasted on the radio, and thousands of fans gathered around the radio receivers in anticipation. The History website takes a closer look at this “Miracle on Ice”.

Television broadcasting in the '80s

As you already know, the radio did not lose its popularity in the '80s when it comes to sports broadcasting. Not even in favor of the TV. Sports broadcasting in the '80s, when it comes to television, had its good and bad aspects. Let’s take a look at a few downsides, which are more thoroughly described by the Guardian.

Sports broadcasting was simply a transmission of the event with the commentary added, and not much else. There was no additional information on the screen that would hint at the players’ names or anything else, there was even no sign of the score on the screen. If you were not watching from the beginning, and you did not keep a score in your head, you needed to wait for a couple of minutes to get only a glimpse of the scoreboard on the stadium. Whenever you turned on a game when it had been already on, you could be unaware of its course for quite a long time.

When you were watching a sports broadcast on your TV, the chances were that you were observing a match from one angle only, as if you had been on the bleachers. The thing is that when you are actually in the stadium, you decide where to look. When watching a transmission in the '80s, you were at the mercy of a cameraman.

Whatever the downsides of sports broadcasting in the '80s when it comes to television, it was still convenient, and for many fans, radio was a far worse medium. Even though the TV transmission was from one and only one angle, there was no score, and quite often, it was challenging to know who was who and which team had the ball, it was still a great experience to watch a game in your own living room. These days, sports broadcasts are on a higher level of advancement, and sport, in general, is in a different place. There are more fans around the world, who can even bet on their favorite teams and win on safe sites like SBO. It is now not only a passion but also a chance to earn some money. The site lists the best operators with the best odds, bonuses, and security, also providing news and information about almost every sport and how to bet on your favorite team. Sports disciplines, teams, and players have become part of the mainstream, but some people still get nostalgic about the old sports broadcasting.

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