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Radio Broadcast

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Topics: Radio, Broadcasting
“He shoots!!! He scores!!!” these are famous words that Foster Hewitt made famous broadcasting a hockey game on the radio (“The Early Years”). It was words like these that the public became used to because there was no television. The radio served as the first medium to hear things live as they happened. This gave sport fans the opportunity to sit down and tune into a game anytime they like. The radio started off big and then took a dramatic fall due to the introduction of the television. However, radio found new ways to attract the public.

Radio broadcasting was introduced to the public in the early 1920s (Potter 226). There was only one type of broadcast protocol in the 1920’s and 30’s being AM radio(The Early Years). In 1921 there were only five AM radio stations, and only about 1% of all households in this country had a receiver (Potter 226). A receiver was basically another name for a radio because at this time radios were very expensive and there were not enough radio stations to make the system work. However, in 1923 there were over 500 stations to pop up which in turn led to increased sales of receivers to the general public (Potter 226). With the popping up of more radio stations the more receivers were being bought which meant that many people in the public were tuning into these various radio stations for information and entertainment. Radio was on the rise and it seemed that there was nothing slowing it down.

Radio was at the top of its game during the 1930’s and 1940’s (Potter 226). In 1930 50% of all households had at least one radio, and by 1947 this had increased to 93% (Potter 226). Bye 1936, there was an average of one receiver per household, and in ten years, this had doubled (Potter 226). Sports fans loved the radio because not only could they hear live broadcast but if they missed the game they could get stats all day long. There was only one catch to sports fans listening to games on the radio. Some radio stations did not have enough money to broadcast the games live so they would have a telegraph operator transmit information back to the studio where sounds such as crowd noise, the crack of the bat, and other sounds of that nature were being generated while the game was being played elsewhere (“Going, Going, Gone!)). Although, this did not happen very often, it did in fact happen and many listeners never knew the difference. As the 1950’s started advancing the radio would run into a huge competitor.

In the early 1950’s the television was introduced which, by all means, surpassed the radio. The radio could not compete with this new medium and had to think of other ways to compete with television. The television was starting to become a common household appliance in the 1950’s to 1960’s. This made it possible for the public to view games in which they use to have to listen to on their radio. The radio however, paved the way for sports broadcasting on television. The television simply took the basic ideas what went on during a radio sport broadcast and adapted it to television. The radio stations had to think of a way to keep up with television. They did this in a couple different ways. First, they turned to more local news instead of national news and second they made hand held radio’s which one could take anywhere with them and put radios in all cars. This helped out sport broadcasting because if the public could not view the game on their television they could listen to it in their car or on a hand held radio while they are doing something else. As time progressed so did the radio.

Today the average household has more than five radios in it (Potter 61). The radio is viewed as something that is relatively cheap, but at the same time it is still a good source for information. For sports fans there are many radio stations that are just dedicated to sports. ESPN has a national station that gives callers a chance to call in plus it gives different viewpoint on professional players. Although, most of the general public today tunes into their favorite game on television instead of listening to it on the radio, the radio is still a good form of broadcasting a game. It gives the fans a chance to hear a game in case it is blacked out on television, or if they are in there car going somewhere. The radio now offers satellite radio which is free of advertising and provides hundreds of stations. Today 66% of American adults listen to the radio on an average of day while 80% of the population listens to the radio on the weekend for an average of five hours (Potter 61). The radio offers so many types of information that anyone can find information that is interesting to them.

Sources:

Potter, James W. Media Literacy. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc, 2001. "The early Years Mid 30's to the Early 50's." BiTrush Design Group. 1996 "Going, Going, Gone!" The National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. 2002. www.baseballhalloffame.org/education/units/content/communication_arts.htm
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"The Radio: Past and Present." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Feb 2013 .

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