Long before there was ESPN (or ESPN2 or ESPNU or Versus or Speed or any of the numerous other channels dedicated to sports) ABC's Wild World of Sports was a pioneer in coverage of niche and emerging athletic events. The venerable anthology series premiered 50 years ago this week, on April 29, 1961, and is perhaps best known for host Jim McKay's iconic opening narration: "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."
HBO will rebroadcast the Emmy-winning documentary Jim McKay: My World in My Words in honor of the legendary sportscaster who passed away over the weekend at age 86.The show will air on HBO Thursday and Sunday (June 12, 7 pm/ET and June 15 11:30 am/ET). It will also air on HBO2 on June 16 (11:55 pm/ET).In addition, ESPN will air Spanning the Globe: The Wide World of Jim McKay, a retrospective of McKay's life and career on Tuesday (June 10, 9 pm/ET). J.R. WhalenRelated: Jim McKay passes away at 86
Jim McKay, the popular sportscaster who became the face of ABC's Olympic coverage, passed away Saturday at age 86. According to the Associated Press, McKay died of natural causes at his home in Monkton, Maryland. McKay's son, CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus, confirmed the news to the AP.McKay is perhaps best known for his calm and heartfelt coverage of the hostage crisis at the 1972 Munich Olympics. With the memorable words, "Our worst fears have been realized tonight
they're all gone," he solemnly relayed the news that all 11 Israeli athletes taken hostage had been killed. He won both news and sports Emmys for his work that day. McKay worked for CBS at the 1960 Rome Olympics and then covered 10 Olympics for ABC and was a special commentator for NBC during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. He also was the host of ABC's Wide World of Sports, an anthology series that debuted in 1961 and famously showcased, according to McKay's iconic voiceover, "the thrill of vict...
As a boy, Sean McManus stood nearby as his sportscaster father, Jim McKay, reported live on the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. ABC Sports president Roone Arledge was overseeing the network's extraordinary coverage and would eventually take over the network's news division, building it into an industry leader. So it was hard not to refer to Arledge when McManus, president of CBS Sports since 1996, added CBS News to his portfolio. He takes over for Andrew Heyward on Nov. 7. The Biz recently spoke to McManus about the challenges he faces in his new job.
TVGuide.com: You must be pleased with the comparisons to Roone Arledge, especially because he and your father put ABC News on the map with the Munich coverage.Sean McManus: The biggest event in my father's professional career happened to be a news event, not a sports event, and I was lucky enough to spend that entire period in the stud