The menu for Fox Sports 1: Nightly SportsCenter-type show; UFC on Wednesday nights; and Regis!

The big press conference is taking place this afternoon in New York. Here’s what Fox Sports told the rest of the world about its new sports channel on FoxSports.com:

Today, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) makes television history, officially unveiling plans to launch a new, national, multi-sport network called FOX Sports 1. The announcement was made by FSMG Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Set to debut on Saturday, Aug. 17, just as FOX Sports kicks-off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually.

“Our ‘secret,’ admittedly a very poorly kept one, is now revealed,” said Shanks. “Fans are

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Network trashtalking: ESPN does post to remind Fox Sports, everyone else who is No. 1

Fox Sports is set to announce the launch of its new sports network, Fox Sports 1, today in New York.

So what does ESPN put up on its PR-driven Front Row site late Monday afternoon? A post titled: “ESPN By The Numbers: March, 2013.”

Written by ESPN’s David Scott, the post contains this opening paragraph: “When you’ve been delivering sports fans their news, entertainment and game coverage for 33 years, you tend to accumulate a lot of impressive statistics and factoids.”

The post then basically documents the awesomeness of ESPN.

Wow, talk about timing. I mean, did ESPN know Fox Sports was making its big announcement today?

“Yes, quite a coincidence,” said an ESPN staffer, with tongue firmly in cheek even in an email.

This post was as subtle as Chris Berman narrating football highlights. It is network trashtalking at … Continue Reading

Which 8-8 team delivered highest NFL rating for CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN?

I overdosed on the Dallas Cowboys this year. It seemed like Jerry Jones’ mediocre bunch were featured more in Chicago than the Bears.

Yet there is no denying Cowboys can generate the ratings. Even after all these years, they still are America’s Team.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News reports a game involving the Cowboys pulled the highest rating of the year for CBS, NBC, ESPN and Fox Sports.

Last Sunday’s Cowboys-Washington game on NBC had 30.3 million viewers, the most for a prime-time game since 1996.

Here’s the rundown of the top-ranked games for the network:

CBS -Steelers-Cowboys (Dec. 16): 26.9 million

Fox – Redskins-Cowboys (Nov. 22): 28.7 million

ESPN – Bears-Cowboys (Oct. 1): 16.6 million

NBC – Cowboys-Redskins (Dec. 30): 30.3 million

The Cowboys did not appear on NFL Network this year. Surely if they did, they would have had the top … Continue Reading

Your thoughts: Why people aren’t watching World Series

Yesterday, I gave my views on what contributed to the record low ratings for this year’s World Series. And the declining popularity isn’t just limited to this year.

I asked for your thoughts and got some interesting responses. You have the floor:

Too many games

They need to end the baseball season sooner. Baseball is a spring/summer sport; don’t allow it to run over into fall. The baseball season is way too long. How to fix baseball? Have a 120-game season and end it in late July or early August. This will allow people not to be complacent and keep baseball from competing with the big boys (NFL and college football).–Ronnie

Ugh, I hate to admit it, because I love baseball as both a former player and a fan. But they need to reduce the amount of games played. This is an always-on world we live in and … Continue Reading

Does Ozzie Guillen still have a future in TV? Stock is down after Castro flap, dismal year

Ozzie Guillen always seemed to have a future in TV. The Venezuelan version of Charles Barkley, Guillen landed a role with Fox Sports as a studio analyst for the 2010 World Series. He did well enough to earn a nod to sit at ESPN’s table for the 2011 Series.

But Guillen is nowhere to be found during this year’s World Series. And that might be the case for the 2013 season in regards to TV.

Guillen’s TV stock definitely has fallen in the wake of his regretful comments on Fidel Castro and then the disaster he oversaw with the Miami Marlins. There’s definitely not a positive vibe.

In the words of one TV insider: “My hunch is that Ozzie has to go to the penalty box for awhile.”

Guillen may not even be interested in a TV gig. Obviously, he is hoping somebody will … Continue Reading

What’s new for NFL 2012: Fox makes point with new graphic; Riggle, Andrews join pregame show

Fox Sports loves graphics and other gizmos to illustrate the game. With the exception of the glowing puck, most of them work.

Fox has a new gizmo this year. It is a simple graphic to identify players on the field. Here’s an example:

 I’ll let Fox explain:

Football uniform numbers are not always easy to see from the side so FOX Sports is developing a graphics system that tells the viewer who’s who.  “It’s a new way to identity players and we’ve used similar technology during our NASCAR coverage, using pointers to follow the cars.  We’re really excited by this technology that tracks players on the field and follows them in real time where you can ID them in wide shots,” said FOX Sports Media Group President and Executive Producer Eric Shanks

Two banks of eight unmanned cameras are

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Is it possible to get too much of this NFL? Are you kidding? Finally, real games

Remember that scene in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas where the people of Whoville stand around the tree and sing that song that I now can’t get out of my head?

That’s how I feel about the start of the NFL season.

Fah who for-aze! Fah who for-aze!

Welcome NFL, Welcome football,

Come this way! Come this way!

Ah yes, our fest begins tonight and doesn’t end until Super Sunday in February. Dallas at New York Giants on NBC and away we go.

Now more than ever before, we can’t get enough of this NFL. The networks keep feeding us more and more, as if that 48-ounce steak they once served now is a mere appetitzer.

Endless pregame shows, endless during-the-week shows on various networks, and a new slate of Thursday night games. Picture Homer Simpson sucking up a dump truck worth of … Continue Reading

Fox Sports crashes college football party with Erin Andrews, Gus Johnson

Did you expect Fox Sports to quietly enter the room with its first full-blown season of college football? Hardly.

The network has two highly creative ads touting the “Gus Effect” of watching the high-voltage Gus Johnson call its games.

And here’s a second promo featuring Erin Andrews.

Fox Sports knows how to get everyone’s attention. But maintaining it at this crowded college football party is another story.

Fox will have a full season of Saturday night games, debuting tomorrow night with USC-Hawaii. The schedule includes the Pac 12 and Big Ten title games.

Fox hopes Johnson, who will be paired with Charles Davis, becomes the life of the party. Working on the big stage, I would expect Johnson’s over-the-top calls could elevate him to cult status on campuses throughout the country.

The telecasts will be preceded by Fox College Saturday at 7 p.m. … Continue Reading

Bad blood: Whitlock rips former teammate Posnanski, Paterno book; questions ‘authenticity’

Let’s just say Jason Whitlock isn’t a member of the Joe Posnanski fan club.

There have been plenty of harsh reviews about Posnanski’s book, Paterno. But few were more vicious than the one written by  Whitlock.

Writing on Foxsports.com, Whitlock writes:

Posnanski’s fluffy, 400-plus-page opus provides sparse guidance. What it inadvertently does, for the highly careful reader, is expose how a coach and a writer can sacrifice their integrity over time, one compromised decision at a time.

It’s difficult to discern what is most shallow in Posnanski’s book — the reporting, the access or the insight.

Later, he says:

Seriously, most puddles are deeper than “Paterno.”

It’s the antithesis of John Feinstein’s “A Season on the Brink” and Buzz Bissinger’s “Friday Night Lights.”

“Paterno” is “A Tuesday with JoePa (and Guido).”

Yet this review goes deeper than the book. … Continue Reading

New York Times’ Longman in center of storm after Jones’ article

Jere Longman is an accomplished writer and a veteran of many Olympics. Yet I’m fairly certain he will have a different set of memories from this year’s Games.

The New York Times reporter has been a target after writing a fairly scathing piece about LoLo Jones. He said she was more hype than substance.

He wrote:

 Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.

The piece ran last Saturday. However, it exploded on Wednesday when a tearful Jones called the column unfair in a Today Continue Reading