Charles Woodson is stepping up his game at Fox Sports. Andrew Marchand reported the Fox college football analyst is adding a new role on “Fox NFL Kickoff” to his duties at the network.
Woodson is joining the show in a full-time capacity after being a part of the college football pregame show over the past two seasons. Woodson’s hall of fame career didn’t immediately breed success in the sports media industry.
The former All-Pro cornerback was let go at ESPN three years into his tenure. Since then, Woodson’s been announced as a member of the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class and has grown into a key piece at Fox.
The fourth overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft, Woodson stepped into the Oakland Raiders’ starting lineup on day one. Playing in all 16 games, he intercepted five passes and forced two fumbles to earn the AP Rookie of the Year Award, the first of many honors during his 18-year career.
Woodson played 254 regular-season games with the Raiders and Green Bay Packers, totaling 65 interceptions, fifth-best in league history.
He retired with 65 interceptions, 1,220 tackles, and 20 sacks. Woodson is bringing quite the NFL resumé with him to the new role at Fox.
“Fox NFL Kickoff” isn’t shedding any talent with this move. Woodson joins a cast including host Charissa Thompson, Michael Vick, Dave Wannstedt, Tony Gonzalez, and Colin Cowherd. The more people added into a studio show, the worse it usually gets, so Marchand presented the idea of tinkering with the format to work Woodson in smoothly.
The New York Post media insider acknowledged that Tony Gonzalez already makes regular appearances on “Fox NFL Sunday,” the network’s main pregame show. Gonzalez could be a leading candidate to take over for Terry Bradshaw or Jimmy Johnson when either of the two legends eventually steps away from the show.
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
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.