- TVS Television Network
The TVS Television Network, or TVS for short, was a syndicator of American sports programming. It was one of several "occasional" national television networks that sprang up in the early 1960s to take advantage of the establishment of independent (mostly UHF) television stations and relaxation of the
AT&Tlong-line usage rates.
Today, the network continues to distribute programming via TV, home video, and the Web in North and South America. The Copyright Group distributes TVS internationally. They have also returned to Las Vegas, shooting new versions of "
The Hollywood Palace" at the Plaza Casino Hotel. The TVS network company is wholly owned by Margate Entertainment, based in Henderson, Nevada.
Eddie Einhornhad begun broadcasting radio coverage of college basketball, and built a network of radio stations that covered the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournamentgames. He later moved into television coverage of college basketball games.
Eddie Einhorn, the network originally telecast college basketballgames to regional networks at a time that the sport was of no interest to the national networks. Taking advantage of intense regional collegiate rivalries, the network blossomed in the 1960s and developed into a full service sports network. While college basketballremained the TVS Television Network's signature series, they also expanded into tennis, college football bowl games, NASL pro soccer, tennis, and golf.
On on January 20, 1968, TVS put together the "Game of the Century" (see below) between the UCLA Bruins and Houston Cougars basketball teams at the Houston Astrodome. This was the game that made college basketball a television broadcast commodity. Six years later (
January 28, 1974), TVS televised another historic basketball game as the Bruins fell to Notre Dame, 71-70, breaking the Bruins' 88-game winning streak.
For several years, TVS produced games of the NCAA basketball tournament. Many of its productions were shown on
NBC Sports, with announcers Dick Enberg, Al McGuire, and Billy Packer.
TVS later entered into a cooperative agreement with
NBC Sportsin order to augment NBC's regional college basketball coverage (NBC talent, TVS production crews). In 1974, they added the World Football Leagueand the network became recognized as a national presence. TVS also aired the World Championship Tennis.
In the 1970s, TVS began producing entertainment programming, including "" in 1974. For many years, TVS produced sports and entertainment programming from Las Vegas including "The
Alan KingTennis Championship at Caesars Palace"; "Arm Wrestling at the Imperial Palace", "Fun Moments in Sports at Bally's"; " Bowlingfrom Sam's Town and the Showboat"; and "One Club Golf from the Desert Inn".
By 1980, Eddie Einhorn had sold his interest in the network and became the head of
CBS Sports, and later became an owner of the Chicago White Soxwith Jerry Reinsdorf. The network stalled in the 1990s and passed through several owners before being acquired by Margate Entertainmentin 2005.
TVS now supplies its programming library via IPTV networks such as (http://www.TVSBoxing.Net) and (http://www.FrontRowSportsEntertainment.Com).
Some TVS programs are available from the [http://www.tv4u.com TV4U.com] website, mostly under the category "classic sports."
"Game of the Century"
The game that really brought televised college basketball to where it is today was a
Prime timeSaturday night broadcast on January 20, 1968 between two powerhouse teams that had met in the 1967 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The number two and undefeated Houston Cougarshosted the number one and undefeated UCLA Bruinsat the Houston Astrodome. The Bruins were the defending national champions and were on a 47 game winning streak. Eddie Einhorn paid $27,000 for the broadcast rights on TVS.Jerry Wizig - [http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1988_517381 It's been 20 years since they've played The Game of the Century] . Houston Chronicle, January 20, 1988] In the end, Einhorn signed up 120 stations, many of which would infuriate the networks they were affiliated with by canceling their regular programming to show the game. [Ron Rapoport - 1968: Houston vs. UCLA at the Astrodome - The game that took college basketball to a new level. UCLA fell at the cavernous Astrodome and had its 47-game winning streak stopped. Los Angeles Times, January 20, 2008 [http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-uclahouston20jan20,1,3709243.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=2&cset=true link at Latimes.com] ] The Bruins lost to the University of Houston Cougarsat the Astrodome in front of a record crowd (at the time) of 52,693. This game was dubbed the "Game of the Century". Previously, only NCAA post-season games were broadcast on national television, but only on evidence that broadcasters were going to make a profit from the broadcasts. The "Game of the Century" between the Houston Cougars and the UCLA Bruins proved that Americans were willing to watch college basketball games during the regular seasons.
1968 in television
Game of the Century (college basketball)
*"When March Became Madness", by Eddie Einhorn. Published in 2006.
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