American Broadcasting Companies Inc. and Getty Oil Co. yesterday announced plans to begin a joint venture designed to develop a pay cable-television sports network.

Pay attractions, such as prizefights or other big events, would be shown during prime time on Getty's Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), a 24-hour, all-sports network that reaches about 12 million homes. These events would be optional for households receiving ESPN.

The 50-50 venture will permit ESPN to use some of ABC's coverage of other sporting events, although details have yet to be worked out. Initially, plans call for one major sports event a month.

The new service, along with a cultural and arts network, are ABC's first cable ventures. ABC's mere entrance into the cable television field is widely thought to be a watershed because ABC had led major networks in criticizing the cable industry. f ABC, Getty Oil Plan Cable Sports Net --

American Broadcasting Companies Inc. and Getty Oil Co. yesterday announced plans to begin a joint venture designed to develop a pay cable-television sports network.

Pay attractions, such as prizefights or other big events, would be shown during prime time on Getty's Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN), a 24-hour, all-sports network that reaches about 12 million homes. These events would be optional for households receiving ESPN.

The 50-50 venture will permit ESPN to use some of ABC's coverage of other sporting events, although details have yet to be worked out. Initially, plans call for one major sports event a month.

The new service, along with a cultural and arts network, are ABC's first cable ventures. ABC's mere entrance into the cable television field is widely thought to be a watershed because ABC had led major networks in criticizing the cable industry.