Wide World of Sports (U.S. TV series)

Wide World Of Sports (U.S. TV Series)

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Wide World of Sports (U.S. TV series)

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Description:
ABC's Wide World of Sports is a sports anthology series on American television that ran from 1961 to 1998 and was originally hosted by Jim McKay. The title continued to be used for general sports programs until 2006. As the title suggests, it aired on the American Broadcasting Company.

The series celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011.

History

Origins

Wide World of Sports debuted April 29, 1961, featuring the Drake Relays from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, along with the Penn Relays from Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was the creation of Edgar J. Scherick through his company, Sports Programs, Inc. After selling his company to the American Broadcasting Company, Scherick hired a young Roone Arledge to 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.

Successful spin-offs

In 1961, Wide World of Sports covered a bowling event in which Roy Lown beat Pat Patterson. The broadcast was so successful that in 1962, ABC Sports began covering the Professional Bowlers Tour.

In 1964, Wide World of Sports covered the Oklahoma Rattlesnake 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......
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