Monday, February 15, 2016

What's On TV (In Kansas City) Today (1970)?

Per the “Scorecard” section of the Feb. 16, 1970, Sports Illustrated:

The Sunday night after the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, a rerun of the game was telecast over KCMO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Kansas City. That seemed logical and innocent enough, but it turned out that KCMO had blithely ignored the admonition aired during the game that no reproduction of the telecast could be shown without permission from the football commissioner's office. When officials there heard about the unauthorized rerun, they quietly requested and got the tape from the station, which apparently realized that it might be vulnerable to possible legal action.

Time passed, and after awhile people in Kansas City began asking the station to run the tape of the game again and advertisers began lining up to buy spots on the show. But nothing happened. Finally E.K. Hartenbower, general manager of KCMO, went on the-air and explained that there would not be another rerun because the NFL would not give permission for it. The NFL, never terribly popular in AFL-oriented Kansas City, lost points, and Commissioner Pete Rozelle, even though he had not been involved in the affair (the player draft and the federal gambling investigation having prior call on his time), was being test-run as a potential villain.

Then things began to smooth out. The league office decided to give permission for a rerun when Kitty Clover potato chips, which paid a modest fee for the right to use the tape, agreed that no commercials would be used except for fund-raising appeals for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. And KCMO said it would donate the time charges for the telecast to the hospital fund.

Everybody was happy. Kitty Clover had a nice dignified promotion, KCMO was on the side of the angels, Chiefs fans could relive their glorious victory and the NFL was back in the good graces of its new constituents. The mollifying rerun was scheduled for Feb. 15, and by happy coincidence Pete Rozelle was due in town Feb. 16 to speak at a dinner honoring the Chiefs.

It is so, so great to have back SI Vault! By the way, if you end up digging into that issue, be sure to check out Dan Jenkins in Italy with ski-star Billy Kidd. The story is exactly as rollicking as the phrase “Dan Jenkins in Italy with ski-star Billy Kidd” would suggest. Thanks again, Sports Illustrated.

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