FOX AND FOX SPORTS 1
FOX NFL Sunday—Curt Menefee (co-host), Terry Bradshaw (co-host), Howie Long (analyst), Jimmy Johnson (analyst), Michael Strahan (analyst), Jay Glazer (reporter), Mike Pereira (rules analyst), Rob Riggle (comedian), Pam Oliver (reporter).
Airing: 12:00 p.m.–1-00 p.m. ET (FOX)
FOX NFL Kickoff—Joel Klatt (host), Ronde Barber (analyst), Scott Fujita (analyst), Randy Moss (analyst), Brian Urlacher (analyst), Glazer (reporter), Pereira (rules analyst).
Airing: NFL Kickoff premieres Sunday, Sept. 8 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. ET to accommodate a special 90-minute edition of Fox NFL Sunday. Beginning Sept. 15, Kickoff airs from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. ET each week. (FOX Sports 1)
• Perhaps you heard: FOX has a new cable sports network called FOX Sports 1 (and they want that network to be good, clean American fun). FOX NFL Kickoff features a host of newcomers fresh off the field, including five-time Pro Bowl defensive back Barber, former Saints linebacker Fujita, and future Hall of Famers Moss and Urlacher. “The philosophy of FOX NFL Kickoff is to combine the FOX Football Daily brand and talent with the FOX NFL Sunday brand and talent,” said FOX Sports executive producer John Entz. “It will also take advantage of the FOX Sports crews at game sites. We’ll do whip-arounds using our game crews throughout the show.”
• The studios for both FOX NFL Sunday and FOX NFL Kickoff are located next to each other, so viewers should expect frequent crossover appearances from both sets of talent on each show.
• FOX Sports executives told SI.com last week they were so impressed by Moss’ earlier work, he will appear at different times on FOX NFL Sunday.
• Menefee continues to grow on me every year; he’s become a very good studio host. He also has a welcome self-awareness of his network’s marketing campaign. Said Menefee: “Everyone has been together for so long [on FOX NFL Sunday] that there’s a natural comfort level in front of the camera and with each other than can’t be manufactured, nor replicated simply by telling people to ‘have fun’ … and you know how we love FUN!!”
• FOX NFL Sunday has the best chemistry among any of the Sunday noon pregame shows, but they are maddeningly inconsistent on how they approach editorial issues of gravitas. One example: Regarding the murder-suicide last year of Kasandra Perkins and Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, the show was terrific on its initial coverage, with Menefee doing something that viewers should really appreciate: He mentioned that Perkins was training to be a teacher, a detail no other network mentioned, and one that humanized the victim of a senseless crime. Bradshaw then followed with a welcome note beyond the usually jockocracy stuff. “Let’s not overstate this so much that we forget about the real importance here of what is left behind,” Bradshaw said. “We have a three-month-old baby girl who has lost her momma and her daddy. Both of them are gone. Therein lies the tragedy.”
The following week, the show abdicated its editorial responsibility with a lack of coverage on the story. There was zero follow-up on the murder-suicide of an NFL player and not even a cursory recap of the news that broke the following week, from the release of police footage to player reaction to the state of then-Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and then-general manager Scott Pioli after watching a man kill himself in front of them. But FOX did make time for a four-minute segment featuring comedian Rob Riggle in Hawaii and some beautiful-looking women in bikinis. Viewers need to see more consistency.
• Jimmy Johnson turned 70 on July 16, but 70 is the new 50 in broadcasting. Hope to see JJ keeping on for years to come.
Weekday Studio Show Management Wants You To Know About
Fox Football Daily—The main on-air talent includes Menefee, Glazer, Pereira. You will also see plenty of Barber on the show. Fujita, Urlacher and Moss will also appear regularly. Klatt will host the show once a week for Menefee and also serve as the show’s lead college football analyst. Longtime FOX NFL Sunday staffers Bradshaw, Long, Johnson and Strahan, as well as FOX NFL analysts such as Troy Aikman, John Lynch and Tim Ryan, will also appear.
Airing: 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1)
MMQB.com: What can viewers expect from you on television?
Moss: I love the game of football. I like to play it. I like to talk it about it. And I’d like to learn more about it. So I hope viewers will not just learn from me but we also have a Hall of Fame cast in Brian Urlacher and Ronde Barber. We have a nice core of guys to educate the football world. I think a lot of X’s and O’s are spent on a lot of nonsense and what I mean by nonsense are things that do not have to do with the game of football. A lot of analysts or writers do not play the game and they think they can go and speak on something they do not know. I want to educate the viewers on how I’ve seen the game, and how I approach it.
Football Night In America—Bob Costas (host), Dan Patrick (co-host), Tony Dungy (analyst), Rodney Harrison (analyst), Hines Ward (analyst), Mike Florio (information), Scott Pioli (information) Peter King (reporter).
Airing: 7:00-8:20 p.m. ET
• Newcomer Pioli will appear on either the FNIA studio set in New York City or at the game site of Sunday Night Football. The former general manager said NBC Sports executives have told him they want him to be an “informationalist.” He described that position as “being able to talk about experiences, tie them into what is happening currently, and attempt to educate fans and viewers about how things really work behind the scenes.”
• NBC said on some weeks Pioli will appear in-studio with Dungy and Harrison or with Florio and King. “I just saw another smart football mind that gives us a different perspective that we don’t have on the team right now—a player personnel guy who has a smart way of looking at the game,” said NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood. “We will try him in different areas throughout the show and it will all depend on his development. I told Scott he’ll earn his airtime.”
• Asked about his comfort level regarding being critical of former colleagues and friends in the league, Pioli said, “I think there is a big difference between criticizing the performance and criticizing the performer. I am not going to be a person who criticizes people. Most of my background in the media is theoretical and academic so I have not entered the realm, but I think that is part of our obligation in the media is to try not to make it personal.”
• The FNIA studio is moving from Studio 8G, the show’s home since 2006, to Studio 8H, the current set for Saturday Night Live.
• This is Dungy’s fifth year as a studio analyst, and he continues to improve. “I’d say my comfort level is probably five times what it was in Year One,” Dungy said. “I am just so much more comfortable and I think I can speak the same for Rodney.” Dungy said last year he felt comfortable going to Flood and suggesting things beyond his own comments. “I would say, Hey, can we look at this or can we show this from a coaches standpoint or here is how we need to show this,” Dungy says. “I have had more suggestions about things I’d like to do or things I think fans would like to see.”
Weekday Studio Show Management Wants You To Know About
Pro Football Talk—The lineup includes Mike Florio (co-host); Erik Kuselias (co-host), Shaun King (analyst); Ross Tucker (analyst); Dungy (analyst), Harrison (analyst); Pioli (analyst); Ward (analyst) and King (reporter). The show faces killer competition against ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption and SportsCenter as well as FOX Football Daily on Fox Sports 1. Ultimately, choosing a studio show is about spending time with people and I’d rather invest elsewhere from Kuselias. The analyst talent is strong.
Airing: 5:30-6:30 p.m., daily (NBC Sports Network)
The MMQB: How much should concussion issues be discussed on a pregame show?
Dungy: I think it should be a big part of it and we should not shy away from it. It is out there on the table and something football in general has to deal with. We could do a good job in painting both sides of it. There are going to be concussions in football—no questions about it. But I can tell you that it so much better than it was 10 years ago. And it is light years better than when I played 30 years ago. We should tell that side of the story, too. And not just, ‘Hey, it is dangerous and there are concussions.’ Sure, all of that needs to be addressed. But also what is football doing to solve it and work on the problem. I think we should hit on both sides.