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Changes at PTV end Turner’s Braves broadcast production

12:51 pm January 18, 2011, by David O'Brien

Braves games on Peachtree TV will look and sound more like Braves games on Fox Sports South and SportSouth, and should be available to a wider cable audience.

Peachtree TV is turning over production of its 45 Braves games to Fox Sports South, which will use its own producers, crews and broadcasters. Outside of Peachtree’s broadcast signal reach, the games will be carried on Fox Sports South or Fox-owned SportSouth — good news for some Braves fans in the South who previously couldn’t get Peachtree games.

Joe Simpson seems likely to continue as broadcast analyst on the 45 games that are switching production to Fox Sports South, but FSS vice president and general manager Jeff Genthner said on-air talent decisions haven’t been made.

Simpson teamed with play-by-play man Chip Caray on Fox Sports South and SportSouth games last season. On Peachtree TV games, Simpson teamed with play-by-play Ernie Johnson Jr., with John Smoltz also serving as frequent guest analyst.

Genthner said, “We certainly will work with Turner and the Braves [to decide on broadcasters]. I have not spoken with Joe Simpson or Chip Caray or anyone else in the mix. It’s just too soon….

“I think Joe is clearly someone who is a common denominator on the Turner telecast and the Fox telecast. That seems like a pretty comfortable fit with all parties. We have not engaged anyone on the play-by-play side yet. That conversation will start pretty soon. I’m not saying it’s going to be open or that there will be a lot of candidates.”

Johnson is under contract with Turner and serves as studio host for its TNT basketball broadcasts and postseason baseball. Smoltz worked for Turner on its Peachtree games in addition to his TBS duties on national games and postseason coverage.

The outsourcing of Peachtree TV’s Braves game and other sports content was one of the major changes announced Tuesday by the station, which is turning over its management to Meredith Corp. — the company that runs CBS Atlanta.

Before too much longer, the name on Turner Field might be the only remaining link between the Braves and Turner, the man and the broadcasting company that helped make it “America’s Team.”

For the first time 1972, no Braves games will be produced by Turner crews, other than occasional Braves appearances on TBS’ national game of the week.

Ted Turner bought the Braves in 1976, primarily to assure that the team remained in Atlanta and a programming staple on his station WTBS, which later blossomed into Superstation TBS.

Fox Sports Net and SportSouth became primary Braves carriers in 2008, continuing a migration of Braves games from Turner that began nearly a decade ago.

Shortly after he bought the Braves in ‘76, Turner put them on his pioneering Superstation, which bounced its signal off of satellites and beamed Braves broadcasts into homes across the country. The lowly Braves suddenly had more broadcast exposure than any team in professional sports.

It became known as “America’s Team” long before the Braves became a perennial playoff contender. It was a generally bad team for more than a decade on TBS, but some Braves players, along with broadcasters Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren, became wildly popular in every corner of the United States.

TBS showed about 150 games a year nationally until the early 1990s – except in Atlanta, where area residents got the local feed of those games on WTBS.

The beginning of the end of the Superstation-era Braves came after Turner Broadcasting Systems merged with Time Warner in 1996. Four years later, AOL and Time Warner merged.

By that time, TBS was carrying only about half of the Braves’ schedule, with the rest divided between Fox Sports Net and new regional network Turner South. In 2006, Turner South was sold to Fox Cable Networks, which moved Turner South’s Braves games to newly created SportsSouth.

The Braves were sold by Time Warner to Liberty Media in 2007, and that season was the team’s last on TBS. Also in 2007, WTBS was re-branded to become Peachtree TV

Peachtree TV is contracted to carry about 45 Braves games annually through 2013.

by David O’Brien, Braves blog

(Staff writer Kristi Swartz contributed to this story.)

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Not only should Smoltz continue, but I would like to hear him more often. Chip was still annoying this season even though he did do a bit better. He has got to stop yelling at EVERY hard hit ball.

That and those cute comments when he tries to be funny and just makes a butt out of himself. He tries way too hard to be his dad but the sooner he realizes he can never be his dad and replace him the better it will be for everyone.

Skip just had that special gift of witty sarcasm that was funny. I so totally miss that. :(

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That and those cute comments when he tries to be funny and just makes a butt out of himself. He tries way too hard to be his dad but the sooner he realizes he can never be his dad and replace him the better it will be for everyone.

Skip just had that special gift of witty sarcasm that was funny. I so totally miss that. :(

Skip was himself in the booth. That is what made him great. He would poke fun at sponsors and would not be afraid to act like he didn't like or enjoy something. He acted like a real person. Chip wants to portray an image, he wants ot be a company man in a lot of ways and would never dare to poke fun at a sponsor. Chip acts to professional and not like a real person. He acts like a cookie cutter man that is unbiased. Unfortunately no one wants that Chip. Take the Braves side and wear your real thoughts and personality on your sleeve the way your dad did. That is why everyone loved him.

I think if Chip would just be himself he could be a great announcer, but he just acts like what he thinks a professional announcer should be. It is too robotic.

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Skip was himself in the booth. That is what made him great. He would poke fun at sponsors and would not be afraid to act like he didn't like or enjoy something. He acted like a real person. Chip wants to portray an image, he wants ot be a company man in a lot of ways and would never dare to poke fun at a sponsor. Chip acts to professional and not like a real person. He acts like a cookie cutter man that is unbiased. Unfortunately no one wants that Chip. Take the Braves side and wear your real thoughts and personality on your sleeve the way your dad did. That is why everyone loved him.

I think if Chip would just be himself he could be a great announcer, but he just acts like what he thinks a professional announcer should be. It is too robotic.

Skip was a total homer and it was great. When the Braves were winning he would cheer. When the Braves were playing like crap he let them have it. He lived and died with every game.

"Hello and welcome to another night of Atlanta Braves baseball!"

"So long everybody" :(

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  • 1 month later...

In December I moved into a new apartment that already had free basic cable. Then about a month and a half ago they took the Braves Peachtree TV channel off the lineup and replaced it with Hallmark. I thought I was going to be forced into missing more games.

But I have great news. All Peachtree TV games will be shown on FSS outside the Atlanta Metro area. That makes me smile and every game this year (for those of you that are lucky) will be shown in full HD! :D I recently got a 42" HD TV and I now get some HD channels and I can see why HD is so awesome and why people love HD!

http://www.foxsportssouth.com/02/16/11/This-is-Our-Team/landing_braves.html?blockID=411580&feedID=3639

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  • 2 weeks later...

Harry Caray used to do the "there's a hawt smash" bit when it wasn't anywhere near a hit or homerun. Chip emulates his dad. However, Skip was a drinker and listening to a slurry old man call woeful cubs games was a formula that worked. WGN knew that.

Chip should take up drinking.

As for Smoltz, I like his analysis the most. Knowing his work ethic and knowledge of the game, he'll bring up points on players and the game that I never knew.

I'm getting up their in age (watching a lot of history channel and discovery/science channel), so I watch "old man" tv. Being entertained and learning something appeals to me. If you listen to an entire broadcast with Smoltz, he'll share something with you that you couldn't possibly know about the game of baseball. I like that. That's well worth the exchange of bad jokes.

I'd compare Smoltz' commentary of baseball to Jon Gruden's commentary on MNF. Except, of course, I liked Smoltz when he was in the game... Gruden, no so much.

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Harry Caray used to do the "there's a hawt smash" bit when it wasn't anywhere near a hit or homerun. Chip emulates his dad. However, Skip was a drinker and listening to a slurry old man call woeful cubs games was a formula that worked. WGN knew that.

Chip should take up drinking.

As for Smoltz, I like his analysis the most. Knowing his work ethic and knowledge of the game, he'll bring up points on players and the game that I never knew.

I'm getting up their in age (watching a lot of history channel and discovery/science channel), so I watch "old man" tv. Being entertained and learning something appeals to me. If you listen to an entire broadcast with Smoltz, he'll share something with you that you couldn't possibly know about the game of baseball. I like that. That's well worth the exchange of bad jokes.

I'd compare Smoltz' commentary of baseball to Jon Gruden's commentary on MNF. Except, of course, I liked Smoltz when he was in the game... Gruden, no so much.

Smoltz jokes are the best too, their so ******* corny they're acctually funny.

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