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The Who ‘Sell Out’ Their Music for 2012 World Series

The Who
Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images

Classic rock lovers tuning into Game 1 of the World Series last night (Oct. 24) were greeted with a surprise. The legendary music of the Who was used throughout the telecast, which will continue throughout the tournament, contested this year between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers.

For the World Series, the British band’s music will form as sort of a running commentary on the championship of America’s national pasttime. According to the press release, songs will be “edited and matched to in-game play, as well as used in game promos, during highlight shows and in custom web content.” You will also hear custom remixes of some of the Who’s biggest hits created especially for the occasion.

In addition, the men calling the game will frequently plug the Who’s upcoming tour work the band’s songs into their commentary, as well as promote their upcoming tour, with contests for tickets and autographed albums on Fox’s website. In other words, we can look forward to Joe Buck referring to a pinch-hitter as a “Substitute” and Tim McCarver awkwardly using “Squeeze Box” to describe a bunt with a man on third base.

The use of the music is part of a legal matter that Pete Townshend, the principal songwriter for the Who, signed with Spirit Music Group back in February. The arrangement gave Spirit free rein to license Townshend’s entire catalog — approximately 400 songs — for placement in commercials, movies and television shows. The deal is rumored to be worth close to $100 million.

Next: Top Who Songs of the '70s

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