So the two videos above are for the new Fox Sports 1 channel. A 24 hour sports channel that will compete with NBC Sports and of course ESPN for viewers. I’m all for another sports channel being put on the air because if done well it will force ESPN and even NBC Sports to try and step up their game even more.
However after watching these two promos for Fox Sports, I’m less sure that they’ll be competing with ESPN anytime soon and more sure that Donovan McNabb will anger at minimum 10.5 NFL players this season with his commentary. Aside from Donovan, who I don’t think has said anything relevant or constructive since the last play he called on an NFL field, the personalities Fox is relying on include Andy Roddick, Ephraim Salaam, and Gary Payton. Since I’m not an enormous tennis fan I don’t know much about Roddick, but from the promos he seems likable enough to have a career in broadcasting. Same goes for Salaam who I listened to on Grantland last year when he did an NFL podcast with Robert Mays. Salaam definitely knows his stuff when it comes to football and can articulate it well. Then there is Gary Payton. The now over weight, homophobic, former point guard known for his defense and trash talking on the NBA court. I don’t see how Payton lasts until January 1 2014. According to the promo his schtick will be talking the most trash. That’s obviously fine on the court, but if you’re going commentate on sports and want me to take you seriously this might not be the best route to go down. Sports certainly isn’t world politics, but imagine if over at CNN Soledad O’Brien talked shit about Hilary Clinton’s foreign policy plan for the Middle East.
To make matters worse Fox Sports looks like they have already pigeon holed female personalities Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson. Both are great on air talents and have had major success over at ESPN. They’re knowledgeable, engaging, and can be funny. Yet Fox looks like they want to brand the two of them as the attractive, some-what bimbo-ish blondes tasked with babysitting the men on the network. Not a good start in my opinion.
Anytime there is a new television show, business, or venture of any kind for that matter a grace period is certainly allowed. They need to be given time to work out the kinks and get their sea legs under them. So there is certainly reason to believe Fox Sports 1 will be a success, but from the view on my couch they might have stumbled out of the gate just a little bit.