Fox' Jamie Horowitz Hopeful New FS1 Morning Show Helps Boost "Undisputed" Numbers
FS1 is "gearing up for the introduction of its first-ever morning show," with "First Things First" starring Cris Carter and Nick Wright set to debut Sept. 5, according to Anthony Crupi of AD AGE. Set to air weekdays from 6:00-9:30am ET, "First Things First" will serve as the lead-in to "Undisputed." If the success of the show depends on the "chemistry between its hosts," early signs are "encouraging." Meanwhile, Fox Sports National Networks President Jamie Horowitz said that the introduction of "Undisputed" last fall has had a "discernible impact" as a lead-in for "The Herd With Colin Cowherd." Horowitz: "Colin's ratings are up 83% since 'Undisputed' launched. So the idea (with 'First Things First') is, we give Skip and Shannon their first steady lead-in and watch their numbers grow. Every show that we add to the lineup makes for more habit-forming TV." But Crupi noted FS1's daytime ratings "aren't exactly staggering." During the week of April 24-28, "The Herd" in the 12:00pm ET window averaged 109,200 viewers. By comparison, ESPN in that same five-day stretch averaged 391,750 viewers during Cowherd's 12:00-3:00pm slot. Horowitz during Fox Sports' first-ever, six-city pitch to advertisers also provided an "overview of FS1's digital strategy." Doing "much of the heavy lifting was the irrepressible FS1 late-night personality Katie Nolan, who chimed in via a pre-recorded segment." That Nolan "played such a pivotal role in the Fox Sports upfront presentation suggests that reports she's about to jump ship are more noise than signal" (ADAGE.com, 5/12).