Friday, August 14, 2015

Fox Is Ready For Some Football

Fox Sports announced a couple of changes on its broadcast team roster for the coming NFL regular season. The top two announcing teams of Joe Buck with Troy Aikman, as well as Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch, will remain in tact. The network has brought analyst Charles Davis over from its college football coverage, and is teaming him with Thom Brennaman and Tony Siragusa starting this year. As a result, Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston will no longer have Siragusa working with them from the field. In addition, Fox will have Chris Myers and Ronde Barber as one of its two regional telecast teams when needed, while Dick Stockton will now be paired with David Diehl when needed.

Fox also has added Colin Cowherd, who just joined the Network, to its Fox NFL Kickoff Show, which it will air at 11 AM ET for one hour, giving Fox a two hour block of NFL pre-game programming.  Cowherd will also be handling the Noon to 3 PM ET spot on Fox Sports Radio, starting on September 8th. His radio show will also be simulcast on Fox Sports 1, pushing the live feed of WFAN's Mike Francesa over to Fox Sports 2 on most days.

As a result, the few who watch Fox Sports 1 or 2 will have a choice of which radio show to "watch", while Fox Sports Radio will actually give its stations the choice of airing Cowherd's show or The Rich Eisen Show, which will be simulcast from DirecTV. Put it all together and it means that sports fans in some markets can choose between listening to Eisen's TV show on the radio or watching Cowherd's radio show on TV.

Even though TBS didn't televise any MLB games during the entire first half of the current season, and does not have a uniform starting time, baseball fans were watching this past Sunday (8/9) when the network aired the Giants at Cubs telecast. The ratings were double that of the corresponding game from last year (Angels vs. Rays). As a result, TBS telecast ratings are up more than 30% compared with its first five telecasts from the 2014 season.

PHILADELPHIA: Being on sports talk radio is now staying within the Eskin family. WIP-FM has added Spike Eskin, son of long time host Howard Eskin, to its afternoon drive show, which now airs from 2 to 6 PM. The 39 year-old Eskin will be a part of the Josh Innes Show starting this coming Monday (8/17), as will former Eagle Hollis Thomas. Eskin will continue to serve as the station's Program Director. As a result, the Mike & Ike Show (Michael Barkann and Ike Reese) will air from 10 AM to 2 PM.

MINNEAPOLIS: KFXN The Fan, which already is simulcast on stations in other markets in Minnesota and North Dakota, now has a Wisconsin station airing much of its programming. WXCX 105.7 in Siren WI, has dropped music and picked up The Fan for weekdays until 7 PM. But with an interesting twist. KXFN The Fan is, obviously, fixated on the Vikings throughout the football season.  Yet, WXCX happens to be that region's affiliate for Green Bay Packers broadcasts. At least WXCX airs Minnesota Wild games so some of their play-by-play will tie in directly. The station, however, plans to air NBC Sports Radio programming on nights it does not air a game and throughout the weekend.

COLUMBIA SC: The Point 1470 and 95.9 is expanding its sports programming. The stations will now air the full two-hour Phil Kornblut SportsTalk Show from 6 to 8 PM on weeknights, adding the second hour of the statewide sports show. In addition, the station will again air The Citadel football.

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