Thursday, June 21, 2012

ESPN Classic to show 1973 King-Riggs Battle of the Sexes

On Saturday 6/23 at 9 pm ET, ESPN Classic is re-airing the Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs during the ESPN commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX. ABC televised this event in prime time from the Houston Astrodome on Thursday 9/20/1973 with Howard Cosell calling the action. The co-analysts were tennis pros Rosemary Casals and Gene Scott.  Both Casals and Scott received quite negative reviews for their on-air commentary. Frank Gifford was also part of the telecast doing interviews.

An interesting sidebar to this telecast: ABC had originally planned to use former tennis pro Jack Kramer as a co-analyst along with Casals. However, King was displeased with Kramer's treatment of women's tennis and threatened to withdraw from the match on short notice if Kramer remained involved. ABC executive producer Roone Arledge agreed to take Kramer off the commentary team and named Scott as a replacement. Kramer appeared during the opening of the ABC telecast and announced that he was stepping down. I believe that Kramer's statement will air during the ESPN Classic replay.

No comments:

Post a Comment