Chapter

“No More Sacred Cows”

Travis Vogan

in ABC Sports

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2018 | ISBN: 9780520292956
Published online May 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780520966260 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520292956.003.0017
“No More Sacred Cows”

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Cable outlets emerged in the mid-1970s and used the practices ABC Sports had established to gain a toehold in the new industry. To mitigate these threats, ABC acquired majority ownership of ESPN, the first all-sports cable channel and the biggest threat to its market share. But traditionally reliable ABC Sports programs like Wide World of Sports and Monday Night Football sank in popularity as the sports television market expanded. Adding to these changes—and reflecting the upsurge of corporate consolidation that marked the 1980s—Capital Cities Communications acquired ABC in 1985 and implemented a series of budgetary, procedural, and personnel changes that saw ABC Sports give up both Arledge and the Olympics. Chapter 7 considers how these shifts altered ABC Sports’ previously secure place within the reconstituted ABC, sports television, and popular culture while contextualizing the broader industrial transformation they foretold.

Keywords: cable television; ESPN; deregulation; Capital Cities Communication; Roone Arledge

Chapter.  10885 words. 

Subjects: Television

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