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BACKSTORY

10/08/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Major League Baseball's Game-of-the-Week became a fixture on NBC Sports throughout the '70s and '80s, but it wasn't always so. The original 26-game package was originally held by ABC for $5.4 million. But in October 1965, after losing $1.5 million in the first season, ABC declined to exercise its $5.85 million option.

According to Broadcasting's Oct. 18, 1965, edition, the major problem for the telecast was competition from local telecasts as well as theNew York Yankees Game of the Weekon CBS, which owned the Yankees.

But the problem for baseball didn't last long. The next week, the league wised up and tied the rights to the World Series, All-Star Game andGame of the Weektogether, so if a network wanted one, it had to buy them all. Later that month, NBC paid the league $30.6 million for the rights to the 1967 and 1968 World Series, All-Star Game and theGame of the Week.NBC already had the rights for the 1966 season. (Shown at left, NBC's Curt Gowdy and former Yankee and NBC color commentator Tony Kubek.)

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