1978 WTT Season
As originally written by GRL
During its early years as a cable channel, Home Box Office focused a considerable amount of attention and energies to covering sporting events. One favorite was tennis: in addition to airing the early rounds of Wimbledon (which HBO continued until 1999), it aired a variety of other tennis matches. One favorite of HBO’s was World Team Tennis, which during its five-year original run from 1974 to 1978 held a continued presence on HBO.
For the most part, researching HBO sports coverage is complicated due to a two-fold factor: most of its earliest broadcasts are gone, and contemporary newspapers listings rarely indicated who was covering their events. For the 1978 World Team Tennis season, however, the bulk of HBO's broadcasts have survived in the hands of the current operators of the league, enabling one to list the announcers for many of these broadcasts. And, as a side-note ahead of time: Your eyes are not deceiving you with the listed announcers, as Home Box Office had a rather eclectic group of people appear on their broadcasts.
In general, HBO’s coverage of World Team Tennis matches was taped, with the matches edited down to fit a ninety-minute time slot. The one known occurrence when HBO aired a World Team Tennis match live is noted in the listings- otherwise, it can be assumed that these were taped.
By 1978, World Team Tennis was a ten-team league- for ease of identification, the full name of each team is given at their first appearance in this listing.
Any corrections to the following listings or information to fill the gaps in this data will be much appreciated.
eattle Cascades-Los Angeles Strings, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden, Cheryl Tiegs
San Francisco Golden Gaters-Boston Lobsters, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Ham Richardson, Kim Prince
New York Apples-Strings, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Charlie Jones, Lynn Shackelford
Anaheim Oranges-New Orleans Sun Belt Nets (from the Checkerdome, St. Louis), 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden
Golden Gaters-Apples, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Bud Collins, Bob Goldsholl
Phoenix Racquets-San Diego Friars, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden
Strings-Golden Gaters, 8:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden
Lobsters-Apples, 8:00 (live from Madison Square Garden), HBO. Julie Heldman, Bud Collins, George Plimpton
Racquets-Lobsters, 8:00, HBO. Announcers unknown.
Quarterfinals, g2: Strings-Golden Gaters, 9:30, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden
Semifinals, g2: Apples-Strings, 10:00, HBO. Announcers unknown.
Finals, g2: Strings-Lobsters, 10:00, HBO. Julie Heldman, Vic Braden