It’s a clean out the inbox and notebook kind of day. Not that life has been boring in recent weeks. For a summer when nothing really but baseball is being played, it has been pretty dadgum interesting.
Fox Sports 1 made a favorable impression on me in one area. Too many hours exist in a day for anyone to watch all of the programming.
But I’ve been most curious about football-related stuff and have checked out Fox Football Daily for the past few days. A couple of observations:
Fox looks wise to have brought in Curt Menefee, who hosts Fox NFL Sunday, to serve as the show’s traffic cop. His affable nature and knowledge make this look like a shrewd move.
Secondly, Jay Glazer looks and sounds like a teen who just managed to score a preview copy of the latest Grand Theft Auto. He possesses boundless energy. When cruising the assorted NFL pregame shows on Sunday, I’ve always enjoyed watching him because of that. He genuinely loves what he does, and that alone can’t be underestimated when it comes to pulling in viewers.
With a new kid on the block, other cable sports networks continue to make moves. CBS Sports Network is no exception.
Although the cable channel concentrates on college sports, CBS’s connection to the NFL can never be forgotten, which is why audiences will get That Other Pregame Show on CBSSN from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, beginning Sept. 8.
With all of the pregame coverage available now, it’s questionable that another show is needed. The audience and advertisers will decide.
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Bart Scott will host the show, along with former Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney and CBSSports.com fantasy football guru Nathan Zegura. There is a local connection: former Fox 8 (WJW) sports reporter Allie LaForce will serve as reporter for the show.
“In today’s television landscape, there is certainly room for another pregame show if that show offers a unique approach and perspective,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. “That Other Pregame Show will accomplish that, as we combine all the assets of CBS Sports including CBS Sports Radio and CBSSports.com, creating a show focusing on the fans and how they consume football.”
We’ll see how much of the audience pie the show can get.
More on CBSSN
They’re adding a weekly show, Fast Football, at CBSSN which will “focus on the speed and innovation in college football.”
The show airs Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m. and joins Inside College Football, Tackling the Trends, SEC Tonight, This Week in SEC Football and Lemming Report as part of original programming aired as part of college football coverage.
NBCSN starts news show
NBCSN does something different from Fox by taking aim at ESPN’s midday flank by adding SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports to its lineup from noon to 1 p.m.
The show, which debuted Monday, unfolds at a fast pace and returns to a strategy tried by others in that NBCSN collaborates with an online entity in the hopes of appealing to television viewers by adding online coverage. Dave Briggs and Carolyn Manno host, and there will eventually be a digital-only show from 1-1:25 p.m. that airs across NBC- and Yahoo!-branded platforms.
Rodney Harrison, Doug Flutie, Scott Pioli, Rebecca Lowe, Jimmy Roberts, Jeremy Roenick, Mary Carillo, Ato Boldin and Joe Posnanski will offer commentary depending on the sport of focus.
The show comes as a result of the digital partnership NBC inked with Yahoo! Sports some months back. NBC tried something similar with Microsoft that resulted in the formation for the news channel MSNBC.
With Yahoo! Sports’ cachet, however, it stands a real chance of working. Yahoo! Sports has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest sports stories in recent years.
Jason Whitlock, another one of those who didn’t leave ESPN on the best of terms, will return to the worldwide leader. Whitlock embraces everything thing about the title of “columnist,” including the description “controversial.” He doesn’t shy away from topics. His stated goal: to create a “black Grantland” that would share similarities to the popular site started by ESPN’s Bill Simmons.
If he pulls that off with a stable of quality writers, it would offer a consistent and much-needed perspective in the sports conversation.
ESPN has to be happy about the move as well — they pinched him from Fox Sports.
Tribe rolls in ratings
Wild-card races have the ability to do funny things to ratings — like make them rise. According to the Indians, the team’s SportsTime Ohio ratings are up almost 30 percent over last year in the same number of games. So far, August ratings are up an astronomical 168 percent.
The news is equally good for radio partners WTAM (1100-AM) and WMMS (100.7-FM) [in its first year of covering the Tribe] — ratings are up a combined 40 percent over last year’s numbers.
For those who continue to question the interest of younger sports fans in baseball, for the Tribe it boils down to a winning product. In the 18-34 demographic, radio listenership is up 50 percent and TV viewership has risen 70 percent.
George M. Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Sports Media blog at http://www.ohio.com/blogs/sports-media. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.