SBD/Issue 5/Sports Media

Fox Sports Launches First Episode Of Racy Online Show "Cubed"

FoxSports.com Vows Nothing Is Off Limits
For Its New Weekly Online Show "Cubed"
FoxSports.com Thursday afternoon launched the premiere episode of “Cubed,” a weekly online show that appears will have little -- if anything -- to do with sports. Upon announcing the show on September 9, FoxSports.com vowed “nothing is off limits as this show plans to push the line as far as it will go.” Well, that was one release that told the truth. The debut episode kicks off with a warning that the video contains nudity and graphic language, then takes little time living up to its promise to provide “shock” by including a naked woman in the opening credits after less than 25 seconds. Immediately following the introduction, the opening segment of the Webisode features three young professionals sitting at adjoined cubicles debating the question, “Would you rather watch the WNBA or gay porn?” The characters proceed to take several jabs at WNBA athletes, as well as at the league over its lack of fan support. The ad-free clip, which in total runs just over 16 minutes, goes on to discuss such topics as online dating, sex tapes and overweight celebrities, in addition to showing random videos of bikini-clad women. As the episode winds down, it introduces the final segment: “Naked activity of the week.” The clip shows 15 seconds of a naked woman brushing her teeth, footage accompanied by no commentary or sound bytes. This show is one of five new Webisodes offered by FoxSports.com that will update weekly under the marketing banner “Lunch w/ Benefits" (Brian Helfrich, THE DAILY). SPORTS MEDIA WATCH wrote "Cubed" "may have been more suited for 3 AM on premium cable than a mainstream sports site" (SPORTSMEDIAWATCH.BLOGSPOT.com, 9/17). THE BIG LEAD writes, "We’re all for risk-taking, and bawdy, harmless fun … but what is this doing on FOX Sports?" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 9/18).

A DIFFERENT APPROACH: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand reports FoxSports.com on Friday is set to debut "Inside Call," allowing viewers to "see Fox NFL studio analysts such as Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson, at home and using webcams, talk to producers about Sunday's coverage." The online shows, "while being TV-like, wouldn't necessarily work on TV." For instance, "Cubed" is a "change of pace for the Fox Sports brand." But Fox Sports Chair David Hill said that viewers "simply have to remember the difference between TV ... and online -- 'where people have clicked on of their own volition and there's intimacy'" (USA TODAY, 9/18).

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