First episode: January 12, 1963
    Bill's first episode: January 9, 1966
Last episode: June 5, 1966
Bill's version seen Sunday afternoons   
 
OK, how many of you game show fans knew about this one?  Bill and veteran sportscaster Jim Simpson were co-hosts of the 1966 season of NBC's attempt to duplicate the success of ABC's Wide World of Sports. The series was frequently pre-empted in favor of live sports action, twice by golf tournaments and four weeks of Stanley Cup playoff action.  Also pre-empting the series was a special four-episode series of made-for-TV matches between Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player called Big Three Golf, hosted by Jim Simpson alone. In addition, many listings (denoted by an asterisk below) identify Simpson but not Bill as the host for a particular episode.  Remember that at the time, Bill had just started hosting Eye Guess, and was still involved with I've Got A Secret and the Emphasis segements for NBC radio, so his travel time was probably limited.  Bill may have actually appeared in as few as a half dozen episodes.

The 1966 premiere covered the spearfishing championships off Tahiti and the world drag racing championship finals from Tulsa.  The latter played into a childhood interest Bill had with automobiles and racing.  Despite some online references to the contrary, Bill and Jim did NOT provide commentary for the NHL broadcasts.  According to vintage newspaper accounts, sportscasters Win Elliot and Bill Mazer covered the live action for those games.  Bill did cover hockey on the radio back in Pittsburgh in the 1940s.

For more about Bill's interest in sports broadcasting, see the RADIO sections as well as the series Sports Cavalcade and NFL Special.

Read about Bill joining NBC Sports In Action in this March 27, 1966 article from the Fresno (CA) Bee.

EPISODE GUIDE 
 
These listings are culled from TV Guide descriptions as well as vintage newspaper articles.  For the entries marked by an asterisk, Jim Simpson is mentioned in the episode descriptions but not Bill, though both may have been involved.  Also, for the descriptions of the May 22 and May 29 episodes, Lou Boda is specifically identified as one of the hosts.  He may have replaced Bill for the final weeks.
 
January 9
Spearfishing championships off Tahiti and the World Drag Racing Championships from Tulsa
January 16
The Masters Ski Jump in Lake Placid, New York, and the Nassau Speed Week sports car race
January 23
International Grand Prix of hydroplane racing from Miami's Marine Stadium
January 30
Wengen Ski Races in Switzerland and the World Lumberjack Championship in Wisconsin*
February 6
PRE-EMPTED (Bob Hope Golf Tournament)
February 13
Seventh annual Los Angeles Times Indoor Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
February 20
PRE-EMPTED (Big Three Golf)
February 27
European figure skating championship from Bratislava, Czechoslovakia*
March 6
PRE-EMPTED (Big Three Golf)
March 13
U.S. Open Speed Skating Championships from Lake Placid, NY (Cullen), Portuguese bullfighting from Lisbon (Simpson)
March 20
PRE-EMPTED (Big Three Golf)
March 27
PRE-EMPTED (Jacksonville Open Golf Tournament)
April 3
PRE-EMPTED (Big Three Golf)
April 10
PRE-EMPTED (Stanley Cup Semifinals: Black Hawks vs Red Wings, Game Two) 
April 17
PRE-EMPTED (Stanley Cup Semifinals: Black Hawks vs Red Wings, Game Five) 
April 24
PRE-EMPTED (Stanley Cup Finals, Canadiens vs Red Wings, Game One)
May 1
PRE-EMPTED (Stanley Cup Finals, Canadiens vs Red Wings, Game Four)
May 8
Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, England (Cullen), Grindelwald, Switzerland Ski Races (Simpson)
May 15
European Ice Dancing Championships from Czechoslovakia (Simpson) and the Orange Bowl Regatta hydroplane race (Cullen)
May 22
World surfing championships from Lima. Peru, 135-mile outboard motorboat marathon on the Hudson River*
May 29
Major Leage All-Star Base/Bowl Tournament from Phoenix, national intercollegiate rodeo from Laramie, Wyoming* 
June 5
Highland Games (Scotland), octopus wrestling (Puget Sound), Turkish camel fighting (Quito), Georgian Games (Russia)*
  
VIDEO   
None that we know of, but who knows what NBC Sports has in its archives?