This video is a priceless piece of ESPN history in our ImaSportsphile video museum….as 1986 was when ESPN got the rights to Monday Night Football….as prior to each game….they aired the program Monday Night Match Up ….with host Chris Berman, Coach Allie Sherman and Steve Sabol (of NFL Films fame)…. as Monday Night Football was originally created by Roone Arledge….the head of ABC Sports….and directed by Chet Forte from 1970 – 1986….cuz we at ImaSportsphile believe this was the last year that ESPN aired Monday Night Match Up.
Back in the day, ESPN and ABC Sports were separate entities…..as ABC Sports was well established as a provider of major sports programming….including live broadcasts of seasonal and major sporting events and anthology programs like Wide World of Sports…..which brought all kinds of sports from all around the world….whereas, ESPN was less than a decade old….and still getting its legs under it.
From 1986 forward…..ESPN would grow and grow….and eventually be bought by Disney Corporation…. who own ABC Sportrs….and it is ESPN that has the Monday Night Football contract with the NFL through the 2021 season….while ABC Sports focuses on more singular events….instead of events throughout a season….so, the student surpassed the master.