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Late home starting times in the 1950's

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03-20-2017, 03:10 AM
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Fenway
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Late home starting times in the 1950's

Back in 1952 the Bruins could not attract flies because people were staying home to watch Ed Sullivan or Milton Berle on that new invention known as TV


So they started playing home games at 9:30 PM



Televisions in the early 50's were expensive but families would buy on credit and then instead of going to movies or sporting events stay home to help pay the bill. It was a big problem for hockey in Boston and Chicago but apparently not as much in New York and Detroit. Canada it was still not an issue as TV did not begin until the fall of 1952 and only the wealthy could afford TV in Toronto which required large antennas to pull in a signal from Buffalo and Montreal had no option as TV did not begin in Vermont and upstate NY until 1954.

In the case of Boston there are TV listings that show Bruins game home being joined in progress on Channel 7 starting at 10 PM. They were not taped delayed as video tape did not exist then but it appears Channel 7 in Boston which was owned by RKO General would then beam the games to RKO owned WOR-TV in New York and occasionally WGN-TV in Chicago. RKO would later own a station in Windsor, Ontario (CKLW-TV Channel 9 ) but that station made no pretense of being Canadian but was built to serve Detroit.

To me the idea of a start time of 9:30 PM in Boston seems ludicrous today but the Boston of the 1950's was much more of a 24 hour city than it is today.

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03-20-2017, 03:54 AM
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alko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
Back in 1952 the Bruins could not attract flies because people were staying home to watch Ed Sullivan or Milton Berle on that new invention known as TV


So they started playing home games at 9:30 PM



Televisions in the early 50's were expensive but families would buy on credit and then instead of going to movies or sporting events stay home to help pay the bill. It was a big problem for hockey in Boston and Chicago but apparently not as much in New York and Detroit. Canada it was still not an issue as TV did not begin until the fall of 1952 and only the wealthy could afford TV in Toronto which required large antennas to pull in a signal from Buffalo and Montreal had no option as TV did not begin in Vermont and upstate NY until 1954.

In the case of Boston there are TV listings that show Bruins game home being joined in progress on Channel 7 starting at 10 PM. They were not taped delayed as video tape did not exist then but it appears Channel 7 in Boston which was owned by RKO General would then beam the games to RKO owned WOR-TV in New York and occasionally WGN-TV in Chicago. RKO would later own a station in Windsor, Ontario (CKLW-TV Channel 9 ) but that station made no pretense of being Canadian but was built to serve Detroit.

To me the idea of a start time of 9:30 PM in Boston seems ludicrous today but the Boston of the 1950's was much more of a 24 hour city than it is today.
wow, nice research. 9:30 pm is late, but i think, its not so bad. I think, that in Spanish La Liga (soccer) there are also games played from 10:00 Pm.

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03-20-2017, 08:10 AM
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bobholly39
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How long did games last back then? Today a 930 start would mean an ending at 12-1230. Factor in commercial breaks, intermission, stoppages, etc.

How would that compare in the 50s?

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03-20-2017, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bobholly39 View Post
How long did games last back then? Today a 930 start would mean an ending at 12-1230. Factor in commercial breaks, intermission, stoppages, etc.

How would that compare in the 50s?
No TV timeouts back then. Games were played in a little over 2 hours.

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03-20-2017, 09:14 AM
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Celtics

Celtics playing in the afternoon at the Garden may have influenced the later start as well. Longer to transform to hockey.

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03-20-2017, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Celtics playing in the afternoon at the Garden may have influenced the later start as well. Longer to transform to hockey.
Celtics would not be playing on a weekday afternoon.

In any event back in 1952 the Celtics still played games on occasion at the Boston Arena which the Garden owned as well.

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03-22-2017, 10:08 PM
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I believe that in the early days of television, U.S. stations might not want to commit 2-1/2 hours to a hockey game. They may have been joining the game in progress an hour or so after it began.

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03-22-2017, 10:21 PM
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Did these late starts carry over into the Orr/Espo years?

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