Thursday, May 2, 2019

Report: Fox Sports 1 Showing Growth With Studio Lineup

Fox Sports 1 has been maligned since its launch in 2013 for continuing to change identities and philosophies. The Associated Press reports the network has found its stride during the past year, however, with executives showing patience in trying to let things develop.

“We’ve grown past ‘embrace debate.’ I think we’re a more mature network now,” said Mark Silverman, the president of Fox Sports national networks. “I think we have some shows with a little more element of debate and others that are smart, entertaining and interesting to sports fans.”

Silverman was named to his current post in January 2018 and his team is guiding FS1 through its third iteration. When it launched in August 2013, FS1 was geared toward news and highlights, which didn’t last long. Jamie Horowitz was hired in 2015 and tried to install an “Embrace Debate” format that had some success while he was at ESPN. Horowitz lasted only two years before he was fired .

This version of FS1 is geared toward studio shows with a mix of debate, interviews and analysis and it’s finding traction among viewers. Last year’s studio programming generated a 28 percent increase in viewers over 2017.

According to Sports Business Daily, FS1 finished third among the most viewed sports networks last year, behind ESPN and NBCSN but ahead of ESPN2.

FS1 has built its fortunes around Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless, but it has also surrounded them with other shows that give the network at least 12 hours of studio programming a day. Those numbers have continued to increase over the first quarter of this year. According to Nielsen, Bayless’ “Undisputed” and Cowherd’s “The Herd” are both up 3 percent over the same period last year. “Undisputed” is averaging 148,000 viewers in its late morning time slot and “The Herd” is averaging 108,000 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern.

Cowherd, who recently signed an extension with Fox, said he figured it was going to take time before there was growth. For one, he was trying to put together a successful television show with a radio simulcast instead of the other way around.

Keep Reading...

No comments:

Post a Comment