CBS Sports Spectacular

CBS Sports Spectacular is a sports anthology television program that is produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States. The series began on January 3, 1960, as The CBS Sports Spectacular, and has been known under many different names, including CBS Sports Saturday,[1] CBS Sports Sunday, Eye on Sports[2] and The CBS Sports Show.[3] The program continues to air on an irregular basis on weekend afternoons, especially during the late spring and summer months. Normally it airs pre-recorded "time-buy" sports events produced by outside companies, such as supercross or skiing competitions, or sponsored documentaries.

CBS Sports Spectacular
Logo used from 2006 until 2015
Also known as
  • The CBS Sports Spectacular (1960–1975 and 1979–1981)
  • The CBS Sports Special (1976–1978)
  • CBS Sports Saturday
    / Sunday
  • Eye on Sports (1994–1995)
  • The CBS Sports Show
GenreSports anthology program
Presented bySee host section
Opening themeSee theme music section
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons58
Production locationVaries depending on the event
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time60 minutes
Production companyCBS Sports
Original networkCBS
Original releaseJanuary 3, 1960 (1960-01-03) 


Hosts of the program have included John "Bud" Palmer, Jack Whitaker, Brent Musburger,[4] Pat Summerall, Jim Kelly,[5] Dick Stockton,[6] Tim Brant,[7] John Tesh, Greg Gumbel, Pat O'Brien, Andrea Joyce, and Michele Tafoya.

Under its current format, the program does not have a regular host.

The earliest surviving telecast may be of the Twin 100 qualifying races before the second Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in 1960. NASCAR has a kinescope of it. In 1994, CBS had a new series of boxing bouts on Saturday or Sundays under the Eye on Sports[8] banner. Tim Ryan (blow-by-blow) and Gil Clancy (color) were the commentators during this period.[9] CBS continued airing boxing on a somewhat regular basis until 1998, by which time they had the NFL (after acquiring the American Football Conference package from NBC) and college football back on their slate. As of early 2020, the series airs mainly on the CBS Sports Network.

Currently, the most frequent sports that have been featured are the PBR Bull Riding series, the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series and Major League Fishing. Other events include the Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest, the Arete Awards for Courage in Sports, Year in Review shows and various documentaries. In 2018, it carried the first and only edition of the Gamers' Choice Awards.

By 2008, this was a partial list of the events that were featured:

  • Tennis: Sony Ericsson Open
  • Tennis: Cincinnati Masters
  • Tennis: Penn Pilot Open
  • Snowboarding: Jeep 48Straight Championships
  • Freestyle Skiing: Jeep 48Straight Championships
  • Track & Field: Reebok Grand Prix (from New York)
  • Action Sports World Championships

Memorable moments

Theme music

An original composition by Edd Kalehoff featuring scat vocals was used as the theme for The CBS Sports Spectacular beginning in 1970.[11] From 1976 to 1978, the Electric Light Orchestra's "Fire on High" was used as the theme for the program (when it was known as The CBS Sports Special). In 1979, the program switched to an "in-house" version of American composer Aaron Copland's symphonic instrumental "Fanfare for the Common Man", which was used until 1980. The CBS version of "Fanfare" – clocking in at 1 minute and eight seconds – was styled after the 9 minute, 40 second version recorded by UK progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer on its 1977 LP, Works Volume 1.

For CBS' Super Bowl XVI coverage at the end of the 1981 NFL season, CBS' theme music would eventually become the theme for CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday. The music itself could be considered a hybrid of the theme used at the time for The NFL Today and their original college basketball theme.

See also


  1. "CBS Sports Spectacular". It was CBS Sports Spectacular until 1981, when Terry O'Neil took over as executive producer and changed it to Sports Saturday and Sports Sunday and made it more of a breaking news program. In the late 1970s, Eddie Einhorn ran it with Dick Stockton as host, and it could be very interesting—they often did it as a travelogue built around the events in one location, which meant Stockton almost outdid Jim McKay in the Frequent Flier department. But they had a lot of trash sports, too, and that's what O'Neil tried to get rid of.
  2. "Eye on Sports (1994) home page".
  3. "The CBS Sports Show (1995) home page".
  4. "Brent Musberger biography". ESPN. Retrieved December 12, 2011. Brent also hosted "CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday," the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, the National Basketball Association Finals, the Masters Tournament and the Pan American Games
  5. "Jim Kelly". Infinity Sports Marketing, Inc. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  6. "Dick Stockton bio". TBS. Turner Broadcasting System. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2011. He worked at CBS from 1978–94, calling NFL games and hosting "CBS Sports Spectacular" until 1980
  7. "Tim Brant Biography". ESPN. December 13, 2002. Retrieved December 12, 2011. He served as host of "CBS Sports Saturday," "Winter-Fest," the "NCAA Tournament Selection Show" and the Emmy Award-winning Tour de France coverage, again demonstrating his versatility in play-by-play, expert analysis, reporting and studio hosting
  8. Sandomir, Richard (December 7, 1994). "March Madness Stays on CBS's Calendar". The New York Times.
  9. "CBS Sports Saturday/Sunday Televised Fights".
  10. "Mother's Day Massacre: Margaret Court vs Bobby Riggs". YouTube. (CBS Sports). May 13, 1973. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  11. "CBS Sports Spectacular". Television Production Music Museum Vault. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
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