ABC Broadcast Schedule
Originally written by BD Sullivan
1972 Summer Olympics (August 26-September 11)
(Munich, Germany) (ABC)
8/26 10 a.m.-Noon (Opening Ceremonies), 8 p.m.-9 p.m.
8/27 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m., 8 p.m.-9 p.m.
8/28 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
8/29 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
8/30 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
8/31 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/1 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/2 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-7 p.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
9/3 Noon-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-6 p.m., 9 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/4 4 p.m.-6 p.m., 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
*9/5 8 p.m.-10:30 p.m.
9/6 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/7 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/8 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
9/9 10:30 a.m.-Noon, 4 p.m.-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m.#
9/10 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
9/11 9 p.m.-11 p.m.
*ABC had spot coverage throughout the day regarding the Israeli hostages. When the tragedy was confirmed by Jim McKay ("They're all gone"), ABC still had time to fill, and with the Games suspended, simply put on a rerun of Marcus Welby, M.D. The Games were extended one day, finishing on the 11th instead of 10th.
#My guess is that coverage was extended past 10 p.m., given the huge controversy over the ending of the US-USSR basketball game, but don't have any info on it.
*Peter Jennings was in Munich to do the "man about town" pieces, but once the hostage situation developed, he became an important part of the news coverage.
Behind the scenes, there was a typically nasty battle between the networks over satellite time, with ABC getting the lion's share for obvious reasons. CBS was able to get some during their morning news, and then in the afternoon, but NBC was reduced to having Edwin Newman get reports over the phone.
The nastiness was primarily between ABC and CBS; ABC refused to offer pool coverage, so when CBS was able to get satellite time for a few hours at 1 p.m. Eastern, they refused to offer coverage to ABC. CBS ended their coverage at 2 p.m. since nothing was happening, but told viewers that they would immediately break in if the situation changed.
By the end of the afternoon, the networks had come to an agreement over pooling the coverage.