Picks and Pans Review: On Another Network

updated 07/07/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/07/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Using their own cameras and the 16 minutes of "official" coverage ABC finally agreed to share, CBS will give you five hours of Liberty (9-11 p.m. on July 3 and 9 a.m.-noon on July 4) and NBC will give you an hour (10-11 p.m. on July 3). Everybody's morning shows and nightly news shows will give you yet more. So will CNN. After all that, America's TV viewers will be the tired, poor and huddled masses.


But the Lady will be green with envy when she sees Ted Turner broadcasting his first Goodwill Games for 129 hours over 16 days on cable's WTBS and on local stations covering 80 percent of the U.S. Whether Turner created his games because he's tired of baseball or wants the Nobel Peace Prize, no matter. You have to give the guy points for thinking big. Between July 5 and July 20 in Moscow, 3,500 athletes from more than 50 countries will compete in 18 sports: track and field, swimming, diving, boxing, wrestling, cycling, figure skating, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, team handball, tennis, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and yachting. At the same time, WTBS will cover the men's World Basketball Championships in Spain. WTBS and some local stations will show the games weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to midnight ET. On weekends, coverage runs from noon to 6 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to midnight. Host for all this is WTBS' Bob Neal, backed by some better-known announcers—Curt Gowdy; Olympic swimmers John Naber, Tracy Caulkins, Rowdy Gaines and Steve Lundquist; gymnast Bart Conner; skaters Peter Carruthers and Peggy Fleming; and Bill Russell on basketball.

But to make the games exciting, it's the competition that counts. The organizers hope to see Carl Lewis sprinting, Edwin Moses hurdling, Willie Banks jumping, Wendy Wyland diving, Tiffany Chin, Brian Boitano and Debi Thomas skating, Nelson Vails cycling and Terry Schroeder's water polo team dunking—all competing for 475 gold medals. It's been 10 years since our athletes faced the Soviets at Montreal's Summer Olympics. Bringing them together again makes the Goodwill Games laudable, whether or not they turn out to be thrilling.

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