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Won 11 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Howard Cosell ...
 Himself / ... (24 episodes, 1965-1981)
 Himself / ... (21 episodes, 1961-1978)
 Himself / ... (15 episodes, 1965-1976)
Bill Flemming ...
 Himself / ... (10 episodes, 1961-1976)


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Release Date:

29 April 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Slovenian ski jumper Vinko Bogataj is the athlete who personified "The Agony of Defeat" by competing in the 1970 International Ski Flying Championship in Oberstdorf, West Germany. The faulty ski jump he had that day would be seen each week in the series' opening sequence. Jim McKay called Bogataj's accident "A performance that, in time, would mean he would appear more often on 'Wide World of Sports' than anyone else." See more »


[opening spiel]
Jim McKay: Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition... This is "ABC's Wide World of Sports!"
See more »


Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #2.37 (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

No Shultz! It's not the AGONY OF THE FEET!
14 December 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

PROVING WHAT WAS undoubtedly the greatest of Sports Anthologies in the History of pre-cable television, ABC's WIDE WORLD of SPORTS set the standards and bar high. There is nothing in their chosen title that could be construed as being classified as puffing or braggadocios. They delivered exactly what they said they would.

DURING ITS "GOLDEN AGE", we saw just about everything that one could imagine in the realm of sports and athletics, even "Athletic Sports". Championship Boxing, Track & Field*, Amateur Wrestling (real contests with no beer being sold in the venue), Swimming & Diving, S.C.U.B.A., Bowling, Billiards (or was it Pool?), Fishing, Hunting and our personal favourites, Olympic Style Weightlifting & Competitive Bodybuilding Physique) all had at least a brief mention in the series.

THE POPULARITY OF this weekly 90 minute sports catch-all made household words out of the likes of Howard Cossell and Jim McKay. It also forever burned into our cultural conscientious the phrase about, "......the Agony of Defeat!"

IN ITS ALL-Encompassing and near total domination of the sports World on television, WIDE WORLD served as a sort of "King Maker" of sports commentators. Although not limited to the following, among those who made early career appearances on the series were: Cossell, McKay, Al Michaels, Bill Fleming, Keith Jackson,Bud Palmer, Al Michaels and Chris Schenkel.

ALL OF THIS MUST seem very inconsequential to today's viewers' born too late to savor and appreciate WIDE WORLD. But in the days before seemingly endless channels and 24-7 coverage, it was at once both a ground breaking pioneer and a classic trend sender.

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