It appears FS1’s plans for Emmanuel Acho have changed. Forget First Things First. According to a press release, Acho will replace Jason Whitlock on Speak For Yourself.
“To join the FOX Sports family and have the opportunity to co-host one of the most notable sports talk shows in sports entertainment is an absolute dream come true,” Acho said in a press release. “Marcellus is like a big brother to me, he’s provided tremendous advice throughout this process, so I’m beyond eager to begin working with him.”
Acho brings a totally different perspective and experience in the world of football than Wiley does. While Wiley played college football in the Ivy League and enjoyed a ten-year long NFL career that included an All-Pro season, Acho played big time college football at Texas and spent just four years in the NFL before making the leap to broadcasting.
“Emmanuel is the perfect fit for the FOX Sports family because he is thoughtful, inspiring and passionate,” said Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President, Content, FS1. “He has already achieved an extraordinary amount of success in his short broadcasting career, and we all firmly believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Acho has generated a ton of buzz in recent weeks with his new digital series, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. The first video in the series garnered more than 20 million views and has led to invitations for Acho to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Good Morning America. The second video features a conversation with Matthew McConaughey.
Last month, Outkick the Coverage reported that Acho was indeed headed to FS1, but it would be to join the network’s morning show First Things First. Plans for Acho changed though once the network learned that Whitlock would be leaving SFY.
Many expected First Things First to add another top name alongside Nick Wright to fill the void created by Cris Carter’s exit. Former ESPN producer Kevin Wildes joined the show in February, but adding Acho would have given the morning show some extra juice. Where FS1 turns next to strengthen mornings will be worth keeping an eye on.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.