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November 24, 2014

ChetSimmons

In His Time, Chet Simmons Changed Sports TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 29th 2010 1:02PM
chet_simmons_espn_pioneerChet Simmons was a true television pioneer. The things we watch today and consider essential to our viewing, didn't exist before Simmons created it. You know that little show on ESPN, 'SportsCenter'? That was Chet Simmons. All this is important to appreciate because Simmons died last week in Atlanta at the age of 81. In his passing, it's time to appreciate that Simmons was a visionary television executive who had the gumption and wherewithal to make his visions a reality.

Simmons started in his career at ABC Sports, one of Roone Arledge's right hand men, and part of the team that came up with the 'Wide World of Sports.'

Today, the show is remembered as an Emmy-winning program that literally scanned the world looking but 'Wide World of Sports' was really groundbreaking entertainment. You saw things on that show that were new and different and always filmed brilliantly. Whether it was ski-jumping in Austria or cliff-diving in South America, 'Wide World' was exciting. And Simmons understood that sports fans craved more.

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