Fox Sports 1, News Corp’s national sports channel, begins broadcasting on August 17th.
More than any channel before it, FS1 is positioning itself as an ESPN killer.
It’s counter programming iconic ESPN shows like “College Gameday,” and has a stable of broadcast rights (college football, college basketball, Champions League, etc.) that at least begins to rival the live sports slate that ESPN offers.
In a big Business Week article recently, Fox Sports CEO David Hill said he saw his channel as a less wonky, more irreverent version of ESPN.
While it’s a little weird to accuse ESPN of catering to nerdy, high-brow viewers, it’s clear that FS1 wants to draw in people who are turned off by the self-serious nature of ESPN and its pundits.
That’s why one of FS1’s first major hires was the Canadian duo Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole — who hosted TSN’s nightly highlight show “SportsCenter” for years.
Onrait and O’Toole’s show was much goofier than its American counterpart. The core of it was still highlights, but there were also jokes and tangents and other stuff that you’d never seen on ESPN. In addition, the two had distinct personalities and a great chemistry between them — two things that have disappeared from ESPN’s “SportsCenter” formula.
The duo now takes its act to “Fox Sports Live,” the nightly FS1 highlight show that’ll go head-to-head with “SportsCenter.”
Here’s a compilation of their best moments to give you a feel for what they’re like:
Fox Sports 1 Hired This Goofy Canadian Duo To Try And Kill SportsCenter
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fox-sports-1-canadian-duo-kill-sportscenter-2013-7#ixzz2a1qHPvVt
And here’s one particularly weird and funny recurring joke, where Onrait yells “BOBROVSKY” every time the Flyers goalie pops up in a highlight:
“SportsCenter” has reportedly seen ratings decreases in recent years. It’s unclear whether that’s because of the shifting nature of the show (it’s pretty much all Stephen A. Smith-y debates now), or the fact that sports highlights are readily available on the Internet.
But now ESPN’s flagship show is under attack from a duo that has a proven track record, and the ability to be entertaining in ways “SportsCenter” can’t.
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