ABC Sports Is Dead at 45; Stand By for ESPN

ABC Sports Is Dead at 45; Stand By for ESPN 1ABC Sports, which once defined sports television and was the home of Roone Arledge, Jim McKay, ”Wide World of Sports,” Howard Cosell, 10 Olympics and Mexican cliff diving, died yesterday after one final big gulp by ESPN.

The sports division that was nurtured to prominence through Arledge’s production vision and deal-making savvy had been in fading health and recently lost the rights to ”Monday Night Football.”

ABC Sports was only 45.

”My heart just weeps for Roone’s legacy,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports, whose career started as an Olympic researcher at ABC Sports before he became Arledge’s executive assistant.

Still, for those who observed the changes at ABC Sports over the years, its demise is not a stunning development, nor is the title, ”ESPN on ABC,” that will accompany all sports programming on ABC starting Sept. 2, along with ”SportsCenter” updates and ESPN graphics.

Soon, except for the transparent ABC logo on the screen, ABC Sports will be a distant memory.