Is There Really an Audience for Another College Football Morning Show?
((Screengrab: Fox Sports))
I suppose it was inevitable and does offer the question: What took them so long??
FOX Sports made it official on Monday after securing a commitment from former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer (no, I don't think Urban will stay either)....
ESPN's competitor announced they too will be producing a College Football Saturday pregame show which will air on Saturday mornings.
You can read the full announcement at the underlined link
Interesting---yes, but I don't know that I'd call Meyer, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn along with host Rob Stone a "Star-Studded" lineup, but hey, #Semantics....
The question I believe is how can they succeed? A question that is void of an easy answer.
ESPN's "College Gameday" has oh, a 20+ year head start and is arguably the centerpiece of the Saturday College Experience for most fans. The show, featuring Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and a handful of others has been a staple of the game for most anyone who follows the game.
Add in the fact ESPN has a much, much better slate of games and you raise the question: How does FOX Compete?
I did get a laugh over the hyperbole heavy release calling the FOX Talent a "Mount Rushmore" of the sport. I would hardly call any of their "Analysts" that popular in the pantheon of College Sports or Broadcasting talent. Stone and Leinart have been studio hosts for the "Three Letter Network" for a few years, none of which made them household names.
Yes, Meyer had a moderately successful season at ESPN, but there are few, if any people who believe he'll stay out of football for very long. There's also the little issue of him technically being on the Athletic Staff at Ohio State.....
Bush and Quinn---again, good players a decade ago---though neither have made much of a mark in the broadcasting game.
ESPN for all of their hubris---has done a masterful job in making Gameday an immersive experience,, traveling to a different game and campus each week and drawing monstrous crowds wherever they broadcast from.
By contrast--Mount Rushmore a.k.a FOX, plans on being mostly studio based before moving on location later in the season.
Maybe I'm wrong or missing something---but perhaps the biggest hurdle FOX will face in this scenario is the lack of a Noon game. ESPN can build a show that peaks at 11:58 when Corso does his Mascot reveal and then roll straight into a game.
FOX does not at this time broadcast any College Football games at noon. Or at 3:30. ESPN has games that run the entire day on Saturday, FOX has a night game that kicks off at 7 or 8pm.
Without something to draw attention to themselves, to get the attention of casual fans or fans looking for an alternative the chance of this succeeding is, well, not very good.
Nobody in the "Mount Rushmore" show says "Watch Me", none of these guys are someone who'll get anybody to change the channel.
Love him, laugh at him or hate him, Corso gets attention and Herbstreit is established as a big name guy who also does ESPN/ABC's biggest game of the day. Nobody on the FOX roster has that star power. None of them.
Without going on campus and challenging Gameday on their turf, face to face---the chances of overtaking them---uh, yeah, not going to happen.....