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Will Cowherd Face FS1 Pre-Empts?

Jason Barrett

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Now that Colin Cowherd and ESPN have officially made their split, it is time for the host to look into his crystal ball and analyze his time at Fox Sports 1. His show is going to be simulcast in a similar fashion to The Mike Francesa Show, though Cowherd’s radio side will reportedly have a national syndication arm through Premiere. Seeing the way Francesa’s show has been regularly pushed to the lightly distributed Fox Sports 2, should Cowherd be worried his show gets the same treatment?

It hasn’t always been rocky for Mike Francesa. After splitting with Chris Russo in 2008, Francesa began hosting solo from 1-6:30 eastern on WFAN. His show was simulcast on the regional YES Network until 2014, when they opted to air The Michael Kay Show instead. Since then, everything has seemingly gone downhill for Francesa. He found a new television home with the Fox Sports startups, who agreed to air his show from 1-4 eastern on FS1 and 4-6 eastern on FS2.

Little did Francesa know his show would be regularly preempted for live sports programming, where his show would be pushed to Fox Sports 2, or, even worse, solely on the Fox Sports Go app. This was a new obstacle for the Sports Pope, who only saw live Yankee games take the place of his show when it was on YES. Preemptions happen, though Francesa finds soccer to be less entertaining than watching his show. He should have known better, as his local sports talk show has been annihilated in the ratings by the world’s most popular sport. Francesa has vocalized his disdain toward preemptions on numerous occasions, complaints that have soured his relationship with Fox Sports and CBS Sports Radio. At least Jay and Dan have had some fun with the whole situation.

Mike Francesa is a big fish in the biggest local pond, but Colin Cowherd is a big fish in the national pond, something that gives him a much larger reach. If Cowherd’s new radio show is a direct replacement for Mike Francesa, these same preemptions could be a problem. That said, with Cowherd’s impressive reach, the ratings issue wouldn’t be as big of a deal, not to mention his following would find Fox Sports 2 or clamor at their cable providers to carry the channel. This would lead to Fox Sports 2 in more homes and could help turn it into a viable third-tier sports network.

Part of the problem with forecasting preemptions for a Colin Cowherd show is that a time slot has yet to be revealed. This issue has already been covered, though it was likely complicated by Cowherd’s comments that ended his time at the Worldwide Leader. Assuming he inhabits the same slot that made him a big name at ESPN, live event preemption won’t be as big of a problem – most of the NASCAR and soccer events that Fox has the rights to occur in the afternoon. Furthermore, Cowherd would actually reach more subscribers than he did on ESPNU and would be a big draw for a network struggling to earn viewership outside of live events. Fox Sports has to tiptoe across a very fine line considering their radio arm airs two competitors in the Dan Patrick Show and the Rich Eisen Show and now their television arm will be simulcasting a direct competitor. If that last sentence sounds complicated to read, just imagine what is happening behind the scenes at Fox.

When it comes to the marriage of Colin Cowherd and Fox Sports 1, there are multiple factors that could affect future success, including competition within and without. But the one thing that’s the biggest difference between Cowherd and Francesa at Fox is the network’s investment. Fox is merely simulcasting Francesa’s show from WFAN and can move it and preempt it as they wish with no loss to themselves. They’ll be paying Cowherd in the range of several million dollars per year. That fact alone makes Cowherd’s show a programming priority that Francesa’s show never could be.

Credit to Awful Announcing who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

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Sports TV News

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Company Will Chase Profitability Over Growing Subscriber Base

“We have to start chasing profitability. It will be demanded of us.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Change is abound at Disney, but it’s welcomed change. CEO Bob Iger, who was announced as the replacement for Bob Chapek last week, said his goal is to help get the company’s financial ship righted.

“We have to start chasing profitability,” Iger told employees and executives at a town hall. “It will be demanded of us.”

Iger announced one of his first moves in returning to the CEO role was to shake up its digital media and entertainment distribution division. That branch of the company oversees its streaming services like Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney+ boasts tens of millions of subscribers, and Chapek focused heavily on reaching as many people as possible.

But Disney stock price has shrunk sharply over the course of the last year, and there have been other areas of the company in which there has been discourse. There was some belief that Disney could be up for sale.

Iger hopes things at the company can be turned around in due course, but he made one thing for certain: Disney and its properties are not for sale.

“Nothing is forever, but I’m very comfortable with the set of assets that we have,” he said. “I think they can serve our company, don’t expect any headlines soon about deals.”

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Sports TV News

YES Network Considering Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly for Analyst Roles

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Could Yankees fans see and hear from two of the franchise’s most beloved former players on TV next season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. The New York Post reported Monday the team’s YES Network appeared to have an interest in bringing in Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly.

But according to the network’s president of programming and production John Filippelli, it’s all speculative at this point.

“We haven’t had any in-depth discussion with either,” he told Andrew Marchand. “If they are A) available and B) interested, you probably at least have to have a conversation.”

Marchand reached out to Mattingly, who finished his run as manager of the Miami Marlins at the end of the 2022 season, and the former Dodgers manager seemed to indicate that there is another potential opportunity in the works.

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jeter will likely be a hard sell on getting into the booth. The understanding is the legendary former shortstop doesn’t have a big interest in getting into broadcasting like his former teammate Alex Rodriguez.

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