- Wide World of Sports (U.S. TV series)
"ABC's Wide World of Sports" was a long-running
sports anthologyshow on American televisionthat ran as a series from 1961 to 1998; the title continued to be used for general sports programs regularly until 2006 and still is occasionally used today. As the title suggests, it aired on the American Broadcasting Company.
The show debuted
April 29, 1961, featuring the Drake Relaysfrom Drake Universityin Des Moines, Iowa, along with the Penn Relaysfrom Franklin Fieldin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was the creation of Edgar J. Scherickthrough his company, Sports Programs, Inc. After selling his company to the American Broadcasting Company, Scherick hired a young Roone Arledgeto produce the show. Arledge would eventually go on to become the executive producer of ABC Sports (as well as president of ABC News). Scherick became Vice President of Network Programming at ABC. Several years later, he became a film and television producer, with over seventy titles to his credit.
In 1964, "Wide World of Sports" covered the
OklahomaRattlesnake Hunt championships. The following year, " The American Sportsman" premiered, and it would stay on for nearly 20 years.
In 1973, the "
Superstars" was first televised as a segment on "Wide World of Sports". The following year, he "Superstars" debuted as a weekly winter series that lasted for 10 years.
Athlete of the Year
In 1963, the producers of
ABC Sportsbegan selecting the Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. Its first winner was track and field star Jim Beattyfor being the first to run an under 4 minute mile indoors. Through the years, this award was won by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jim Ryun, Lance Armstrong, Mario Andretti, Wayne Gretzky, Carl Lewisand Tiger Woods. The award was discontinued in 2001.
The end of "Wide World of Sports"
In later years, with the rise of
cable televisionoffering more outlets for sports programming, "Wide World of Sports" lost much of its appeal. Ultimately, the "Wide World of Sports" name was used as an umbrella title for ABC's weekend sports programming. "Wide World of Sports" discontinued its traditional anthology series format in 1997.
In August 2006, ABC Sports was effectively displaced by the concept of "
ESPN on ABC". The "Wide World of Sports" name continues to occasionally be revived for Saturday afternoon sports programming on ABC, most recently during the 140th Belmont Stakesas a tribute to the recently deceased Jim McKay.
ports featured on "Wide World of Sports
"Wide World of Sports" was intended to be a "fill-in" show for a single summer season, until the start of fall sports seasons, but became unexpectedly popular. The goal of the show was to showcase sports from around the globe. It originally ran for ninety minutes on Saturday afternoons, and featured two or three sports per show. These included many types not normally seen on American television, such as
hurling, rodeo, curling, jai-alai, firefighter's competitions, surfing, logger sports, demolition derbyand badminton. Traditional Olympic sports such as figure skating, skiing, gymnastics, and track and fieldcompetitions were also regular features of the show. The broadcast was hosted for most of its history by Jim McKay.
"Wide World of Sports" aired from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and later 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 Eastern Time.
"Wide World of Sports" was the first program to air coverage of Wimbledon,
The Indianapolis 500, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, the Daytona 500, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the Little League World Series, The Open Championship, the X-Games, the Grey Cup, and many other events.
It was written by
Stanley Ralph Ross.
"The Thrill of Victory..."
The melodramatic introduction became a national
catch phrasethat is often heard to this day. While "the thrill of victory" had several symbols over the decades, ski jumper Vinko Bogataj, whose dreadful misjump and crash of March 21, 1970was featured from the late 1970s onward under the words "...and the agony of defeat", became a hard-luck hero of sorts, and an affectionate icon for stunning failure. Previously, the footage played with that phrase was of another ski jumper who made a long, almost successful jump, but whose skis lost vertical alignment shortly before landing, leading to a crash. Later in the 1990s, an additional clip was added to the "agony of defeat" sequence after Bogataj's accident. Footage of a crash by Alessandro Zampedri, Roberto Guerreroand Eliseo Salazarduring the 1996 Indianapolis 500shows a car flipping up into the catchfence. The "oh no!" commentary that accompanies it, however, is dubbed from commentary by Benny Parsonsof a different crash in a different race (1997 NASCARPurolator 500). Bogataj's mishap is also commemorated in Rich Hall's book " Sniglets" as "agonosis," which is defined as "The syndromeof tuning in on "Wide World of Sports" every weekend just to watch the skier rack himself."
During the 1970s and 1980s, a Canadian version was aired by the
CTV Television Network. Licensed by ABC, the CTV broadcast included a mix of content from the American show, and segments produced by CTV and its affiliates.
During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a Mexican version, aired by
Imevision, the TV channel of the Mexican government, known as "DeporTV, El Ancho Mundo del Deporte" ("DeporTV, the Wide World of Sports"). The logo and motto were later dropped by TV Azteca.
Becky Dixon(1987-1988) [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/58214474.html?dids=58214474:58214474&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Jan+09%2C+1987&author=Larry+Stewart&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=Network+Bosses+Have+High+Praise+for+No.+1+Teams&pqatl=google Network Bosses Have High Praise for No. 1 Teams ] ]
John Saunders(1993) [ [http://www.tv.com/john-saunders/person/114284/summary.html John Saunders - TV.com ] ]
Julie Moran(1994-1995) [ [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DN&s_site=philly&p_multi=PI|DN&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB2A11066CE088D&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM Search Results ] ]
*Robin Roberts (1996-1997) [ [http://www.tv.com/wide-world-of-sports/show/24908/summary.html Wide World of Sports - TV.com ] ]
Jules Bergman[ [http://www.tv.com/classic-wide-world-of-sports/show/35305/summary.html Classic Wide World of Sports - TV.com ] ]
Bob Beattie[ [http://www.tv.com/classic-wide-world-of-sports/episode-7/episode/791508/summary.html Classic Wide World of Sports: Episode 7 - TV.com ] ]
Larry Birleffi[ [http://www.tv.com/classic-wide-world-of-sports/episode-24/episode/813448/summary.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=episodessh&tag=episodes;title;1 Classic Wide World of Sports: Episode 24 - TV.com ] ]
Chris Economaki[ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0190895/ "ABC's Wide World of Sports" (1961) ] ]
Bob Rose[ [http://www.tv.com/classic-wide-world-of-sports/episode-5/episode/789223/summary.html Classic Wide World of Sports: Episode 5 - TV.com ] ]
Hughes Rudd[ [http://www.tv.com/classic-wide-world-of-sports/episode-10/episode/797600/summary.html Classic Wide World of Sports: Episode 10 - TV.com ] ]
*The album version of an early-1970s
Cheech and Chonghit song called "Basketball Jones" (a parody of a rhythm and blues number called "Love Jones") contained a prologue that parodied this program. It was called "White" World of Sports" and featured a not-too-bright commentator named "Red Blazer".
*An anachronistic joke early in the 1974 western film parody, "
Blazing Saddles", had Slim Pickensyelling at his railroad crew, "What in the "Wide, Wide World of Sports" is a-goin' on here?"
*Walt Disney World's athletic facility is named
Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Note that The Walt Disney Companyacquired ABC in 1996.
*In 2007, "
Time Magazine" named ABC's "Wide World of Sports" as one of 100 all-time TV shows.
*Weekend updates on [http://abcsportsradio.com/article.asp?id=341454 ABC Sports Radio] , a service transmitted through the ABC Radio Network, are branded as "ABC's World of Sports".
*imdb title|id=0190895|name=Wide World of Sports
*Tv.com show|id=35305|title=Classic Wide World of Sports
* [http://www.80stvthemes.com/potpourri/sports.html The '80s TV Theme SuperSite]
** [http://www.80stvthemes.com/ra/WIDEWORLD.ra ABC's Wide World of Sports (1972)]
** [http://www.80stvthemes.com/ra/WIDEWORLD89.ra ABC's Wide World of Sports (1989)]
* [http://www.jumptheshark.com/forum/wide-world-sports/2189 Jump The Shark - Wide World of Sports]
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