“I think (the show will) be a little bit different on our lineup, you know, after hunting,” Beadle said.
It’s a good line to be sure. However, there’s more than tinge of reality to that statement, considering hunting shows still generate some of the highest ratings on NBC Sports Network.
So while the jokes were flying Wednesday, make no mistake, Beadle’s new show is serious stuff for a network that still is struggling to gain a foothold. The 30-minute Monday through Friday program debuts live from New Orleans Monday at 6 p.m. ET.
The NBC Sports Network needs to develop signature, go-to personalities if it ever is going to make an impact in the market. It is imperative. The addition of Dan Patrick’s radio show in the morning was a step in the right direction. Beadle’s show, though, represents an even bigger opportunity to serve as a key anchor going up against the 6 p.m. SportsCenter and into an evening of games at NBC Sports Network, ESPN, and elsewhere.
Beadle, funny and engaging, had a healthy following as co-host of SportsNation on ESPN. Will they follow her to NBC Sports Network? Network executives hope so.
Here are Beadle, her co-host Dave Briggs (an interesting figure in his own right), and NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood addressing the key issues:
On the importance of NBC Sports Network developing go-to personalities:
Flood: It’s about personality. It’s about people you want to spend time with. It’s the people you want to be at the bar and hang out with, and these are the two people that you want to do that with. And that’s an important part of establishing them, and establishing the time at 6:00 (p.m. ET), Monday through Friday. And we’re going to re-air the show at 10:30 p.m. every night after our hockey coverage, and drive that puck audience over, and expose puckheads to Beadle and Briggs, which will be a fun opportunity to push a new audience and expose them to what will be a fun show.
On Beadle serving as an important piece of NBC Sports Network.
Beadle: I love the fact that the landscape of sports television has changed so drastically in the last two or three years. There’s not just one place to go anymore, and part of us coming here and doing this show is to bring a fun half hour, not take yourself too seriously. No contrived arguments where it feels forced or not organic.
I, personally, don’t watch sports through the eyes of a stats nerd or an anger monger. I truly love stories and characters and the flash and the sexiness of it all. So, for me, I want 22 minutes-a-day of that kind of talk. And we’re not going to be as funny or light-hearted as Costas, but we’re definitely hoping to try to bring that level of our A-game to every day of this. I think it’ll be a little bit different on our lineup, you know, after hunting.
On Briggs, a former host on Fox News, and if he will bring politics into the new show.
Briggs: We discussed all things 24-7 and did it in a very partisan manner. But I think the thing that you should take from Fox & Friends is that I can shift gears and do anything from current events, world events, to wars in the Middle East, to politics. Do I have a history of being somewhat political? Sure, but this is not a political show, and I don’t intend to steer it in that direction. I always try to bring balance to an issue, and even if I have a very strong opinion, I always welcome other opinions.”
Beadle: But we are going to do an hour special on Roe v. Wade anniversaries.
Briggs: I don’t shy away from talking about politics if Sam wants us to… I think that my past could allow us different discussions. We have a segment called ‘Head to Head,’ I could see myself saying, ‘Alright, who’s a worse dealmaker the United States Congress or the NHL?’ I think you could take things from my past that changes the discussion topic a little bit and steer it in that direction.
On developing chemistry on the show:
Beadle: We hang out. We go into rehearsal, we’re about to go into another one in a half hour, that’s just going to be part of it. In the next four days we are going to hang out as much as possible, get ourselves to New Orleans and practice and go to dinners. You just get a feel for working with each other and how the other works, and sometimes it clicks right away and sometimes it takes a little bit longer. I have no idea. I think that is kind of part of the nervous excitement of everything that’s going on over here.
Briggs: It’s tough to have to work with someone who has to sit in the makeup chair and worry about the hair, but Beadle will get used to the fact that I need those things.
Beadle: He does take a while.
On missing out on the sports-world wackiness during the last couple of weeks:
Beadle: The last 2-3 weeks have been gifts from the sports gods. Every day is kind of one more thing that we can talk about that’s fun. I’m just hoping that they have some more stories left in them come Monday because man, if I can get another dead, fake girlfriend who died of cancer out of this world, I think that we’re all winning.
Briggs: It has been very difficult this last week to 10 days to not have the show airing. There’s certainly no shortage of stories that are perfect for us. I wish we had Manti Te’o but there’s another fake girl just around the corner.
Beadle: Lots of them out there.
Briggs: Washington Redskins players just said that they too have been duped by a couple of fake online girls. There’s always a juicy story right around the next corner.