Sports Beat made its debut on the Network in September 1970, to occupy the Wednesday evening time slot that had in the two previous seasons been occupied by half-hour variety shows. The presence of Wednesday Night Hockey in the CTV schedule frequently meant that an expensive half-hour program was being 'joined in progress', and neither of the variety shows occupying this slot had been able to make a sufficient impression to warrant renewal in a more consistent time period.
Their predecessor in the Wednesday slot had been Sports Hot Seat (q.v.), and there was considerable logic in reverting to a sports program as a companion piece to hockey. It initially preceded hockey at 7:30pm, but moved to 10:30pm in the 1971-72 season.. It came out of the schedule in the 1974-75 season, but was back in in 1975-76 for one final season, this time back at 7:30pm.
The show was hosted by CTV Sports Director Johnny Esaw, and later by Pat Marsden, and was produced in the studios of CFTO-TV Toronto.
Written by Pip Wedge - February, 2003