Programming: A Locker in the Living Room

Lou Brock races for the foul line, straight-arms a caddie, and plows over for the touchdown. Joe Namath fakes to a Ferrari and hook-slides into the 14th green. And here comes Billie Jean King, riding home another long shot at the big A.

So it might have seemed to any dial-twirling fan who tried to keep up with the dizzying array of TV sports shows last week. The enthusiasm is understandable, for sport is the most consistently exciting spectacle on TV. The cameras follow the bouncing ball with such telescopic expertise that they...

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