In 1919, the Chicago White Sox faced the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. This series would go down as one of the biggest sports scandals of all time. As the story goes, professional gambler Joseph Sullivan paid eight members of the White Sox (Oscar Felsch, Arnold Gandil, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Fred McMullin, Charles Risberg, George Weaver, and Claude Williams) around 10,000 dollars each to fix the World Series. All eight players were banned from playing professional baseball for the rest of their lives. Pete Rose, the all-time MLB leader in hits, was similarly banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on games while he was an MLB manager.
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In order to bolster viewership for the NFL telecasts, Fox parent News Corporation decided to strike affiliation deals with broadcasting companies that owned stations affiliated with ABC, NBC and CBS in order to raise the profile of Fox's affiliate body, which at the time mainly consisted of UHF stations that (with some exceptions) had little to no prior history as a major network affiliate, had weaker signals and largely did not carry as much value with advertisers as the Big Three's affiliates. During the late spring and summer of 1994, Fox reached separate agreements with New World Communications (a media company controlled by investor Ronald Perelman, which Fox's station group Fox Television Stations would purchase in July 1996) and SF Broadcasting (a joint venture between Fox and Savoy Pictures that purchased four stations from Burnham Broadcasting through separate deals in July and August 1994) to switch a total of sixteen stations to Fox between September 1994 and September 1996 as affiliation contracts with those stations' existing network partners expired. The NFL television rights and affiliation deals firmly established Fox as the nation's fourth major network. The network's relationship with the NFL would expand in 1997, when it began airing games from NFL Europe, an agreement which ended when the European league folded in 2005.
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