Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
ABC SportsThe Rise and Fall of Network Sports Television$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Travis Vogan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292956

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292956.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

“What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is Going on Here?”

“What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is Going on Here?”

Trashsports and Scandal

(p.159) Six “What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is Going on Here?”
ABC Sports

Travis Vogan

University of California Press

ABC Sports capitalized on the notoriety it achieved during the 1970s by licensing an eclectic collection of items and producing non-sports programming. Along these lines, the subsidiary demonstrated that it did not need preexisting events to create popular sports television. It developed made-for-television specials, including Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs’s Battle of the Sexes, Evel Knievel’s bone-shattering stunts, and The Superstars, which featured athletes competing in sports outside their areas of expertise. Though commercially successful, these programs were widely belittled as “TrashSports” that degraded the respectability ABC Sports had steadily built. Amid ABC Sports’ investment in TrashSports, the division became embroiled in a scandal surrounding the 1977 United States Boxing Championships, in which elements of the competition were fabricated to ensure its value as a television spectacle. Chapter 6 examines how ABC’s brand extensions and involvement in TrashSports took its sports programming to lengths that no longer necessitated preexisting events, and it uses the controversial boxing championships to investigate the limits to which ABC could manufacture engaging sporting content.

Keywords:   TrashSports, branding, Evel Knievel, Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, Battle of the Sexes

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.