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SBD/July 22, 2013/Media
FS1 To Seek New Ad Agency, With Super Bowl Week Possible Testing Ground
Published July 22, 2013
FAIR AND BALANCED? BLOOMBERG NEWS' Jonathan Mahler reported Fox "tested a show" for FS1 "that was not built around two guys arguing with each other in staged debate." The show, "tentatively called 'Red, White and Truth,' is to be hosted by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock." He said that the show would be a "combination of interviews and panel discussions" and called it "a mishmash of Jon Stewart and Bill Maher." Whitlock: "There’s an opportunity to pump the brakes and be provocative without it being a shouting match." Mahler reported the "basic idea is simple: Replace pointless, contrived arguments over insignificant issues with genuine, original thoughts and conversations about subjects that actually matter." Mahler: "A worthy cause! But is it even remotely possible? ... Is it too optimistic to think that Whitlock might be on to something? Maybe we’re all getting sick of the manufactured outrage, the mindless debates." In the "absence of encouraging signs, all we have is the increasingly inescapable reality that it’s time for a better sports show, one that doesn't assault our senses and insult our intelligence" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/19).
WILD AND CRAZY GUYS: SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted FS1's "Crowd Goes Wild," an hour-long show hosted by Regis Philbin, debuts Aug. 19 and will air weekdays at 5:00pm ET, a "tough time slot to get viewer traction." But "one thing you can't teach in television is likeability, and Philbin has that, even at age 81." Also appearing on the show will be the Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay, "one of the best working sports columnists today," and former Sky Sports host and news anchor Georgie Thompson, who "has a major social media following among EPL soccer fans." There have been "far worse ideas on sports television, so we'll see where this goes." Deitsch: "Panel chemistry, obviously, is going to be huge here" (SI.com, 7/21).
STAYING OUT OF THE FRAY: In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, John Ourand examines the counter-programming moves ESPN and FS1 are each making and cites NBC Sports Network execs as saying that while the net has “tinkered with some of its afternoon programming … they are not reacting to program schedules from other outlets.” NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller said, “We don’t look at what other guys are doing when we program our channel. We want to give our shows time to find their audiences.” Miller “highlighted ‘ProFootball Talk,’ which covers the NFL, and ‘Crossover,’ which features a well-known host in Michelle Beadle, as shows that he wants to give time to grow” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/22 issue).