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Volume 26 No. 230
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Fox Sports Hosting Digital Super Bowl Watch Party With NFL Greats

Fox Sports is turning to its digital properties to provide fans the opportunity to glean insight into Sunday's 49ers-Chiefs Super Bowl from three QBs who have won the big game. Through its "Fox Sports Super Bowl LIV Watch Party," fans can watch as Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Drew Brees discuss the game from a suite in Hard Rock Stadium. Presented as a second-screen offering, the trio will be joined by Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt, who will serve as host and direct traffic. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the group of Super Bowl champions throughout the game using #AskTheLegends. Some legendary NFLers and celebrities who are at the game may drop in and offer their takes. Fox Sports Exec VP Digital David Katz called it "the biggest digital offering Fox Sports has ever had." Fox Sports has produced similar watch parties for the World Series, Daytona 500 and CFP Championship, but the Super Bowl is a different beast. Fox Sports knew months ago it wanted to do a watch party for the game but knew there needed to be a high bar for its stars -- they needed to have won a Super Bowl. Once Fox Sports reached out to the trio and their reps and explained the concept, the net was able to close the deals conceptually within a week. Some agreed within 15 minutes of hearing the pitch. Going forward, Katz said, "We have our work cut out for ourselves to elevate the type of talent we bring into these. From a talent perspective, it will make doing these things an even more exciting opportunity once they see the level of talent we've had."

COME TOGETHER: On Wednesday, Fox Sports streamed "The ReUnion," a gathering of former Univ. of Miami players and NFLers: Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne and Michael Irvin, with a surprise appearance by former coach Jimmy Johnson. It was a full-scale production on one of Fox Sports' South Beach sets, with the panel sharing stories about their time at the university. It was a 75-minute production without breaks or commercial interruption. Katz said it is an "elevation of the medium for digital productions." Katz: "It had never been done before. It couldn't have been done if we hadn't done all of these other different types of live productions and experimentations." Building off productions such as "The ReUnion," Fox Sports has set a goal to be bold and willing to try new things which, if successful, would lead to new digital franchises. Measuring success, however, is not a cookie-cutter formula. Katz said, "There's no one metric we look at. There's no 'rating.' We are changing the medium. We're evolving the paradigm. We are creating new formats. ... This is not wash, rinse, repeat."

FOR STARTERS: Other undertakings by Fox Sports' digital arm this week include having Browns QB Baker Mayfield and Michael Vick conducting interviews; WWE's King Corbin and Roman Reigns covered the Chiefs and 49ers, respectively, at Super Bowl Opening Night; a live feed of the sights and sounds on the field an hour before the Super Bowl; and a live stream of the sign language interpretation of "America The Beautiful" and "Star Spangled Banner."