SBD/Issue 144/Sports Media

Critics May Not Like It, But FSN Show A Hit With Advertisers

FSN's "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" is the "first original Fox Sports program to have real traction with viewers, and its sponsorship deals have been a slam dunk with advertisers," according to Jim McConville of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, who notes the show, which launched in July, "accounts for about 10%-15% of [FSN's] overall sales revenue." Fox Cable Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Guy Sousa said that FSN has "no problems selling its 30-second ad spots and its sponsorships, which are commanding seven-figure deals." Sousa: "We've more than doubled the amount of revenues from clients that are now buying specifically that primetime slot." McConville notes the show's sponsor's products are "displayed — and sometimes consumed — on the show's set." FSN President Tracy Dolgin said, "It's like guys sitting around a bar and watching games. So anything they would normally consume, we'll let them consume (on the show)." Meanwhile, FSN has a "half-dozen sports-entertainment pilots in development, including a scripted sports comedy show and a combination local/national entertainment show." Dolgin: "We made a mistake five years ago when we created [FSN]. We created a lot of ESPN clone programming. We took the Fox name and created something that was not really Foxlike" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 4/16).

FORGIVE AND FORGET: In Dallas, Barry Horn reports former Cowboys WR Michael Irvin this week is replacing DeMarco Farr on "Best Damn Sports Show." Fox is "testing the waters, wanting to make certain Irvin's charisma still shines." Meanwhile, Irvin will be introduced today as the analyst to work with play-by-play man Brad Sham on local AFL Desperados TV broadcasts (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/16).

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