The new 24-hour sports network Fox Sports 1 made its long-anticipated debut on Saturday morning and after a full weekend of coverage the reviews from many sports-related websites and media personalities has been positive, especially for anchors Jay Onrait, and Dan O'Toole on "Fox Sports Live".
The first episode of the show debuted after coverage of the UFC and Fox Sports Live will be the flagship program for the channel and will go head to head with SportsCenter on ESPN. The show features Onrait and O'Toole as the main anchors and has a new panel during the broadcast hosted by Charissa Thompson that includes a rotating staff of Donovan McNabb, Gary Payton, Andy Roddick, Gabe Kapler and others. The main anchors got high marks for their humor and performance on the highlights, which resembled their previous time on SportsCentre in Canada, which they co-hosted for many years before moving to Fox.
Awful Announcing pointed out that the show has a very "blue" style and that the color is the dominant one used in the studio as well as on the non-graphics part of the screen. Fox has its own "bottom line" on the broadcast like on ESPN, but during Fox Sports Live it was much more active with news headlines at the bottom as well as graphics and statistics pertaining to what the panel or the co-hosts were talking about at the time. For example, while Andy Roddick was talking about the Dodgers going 42-8 over their last 50 games, the right side of the screen had stats for the team during the stretch as well as related statistics about league leaders in the MLB.
During other parts of the broadcast, live scores were shown along with fantasy football rankings as well as updated statistics from the night's games. The bottom line had game scores along with detailed statistics from those games and the main show on Saturday showed how it will operate, with the two anchors playing off the studio panel and jumping back and forth. On Sunday the show will be done just by the duo with no panel apart from certain exceptions and the highest praise and most consistent compliments were for O'Toole and Onrait. The show has a "top play" type segment called "The One" that could use some polishing, but one thing that needs no changes is the comfort level between the two anchors and their sense of humor not dominating the highlights. They should be very successful translating to American viewers.
On Monday the schedule will include a number of premieres, including Fox Soccer Daily, NASCAR Race Hub and two very big shows for the network, Crowd Goes Wild with Regis Philbin as well as Fox Football Daily at 6 PM which will go against SportsCenter on ESPN. There will be another new live edition of Fox Sports Live in the evening and it will be interesting to see how the show develops over the year and how they balance their coverage as compared to ESPN and the sports they do and do not carry.
FOX Soccer Daily [Premiere] Live - 4pm ET
NASCAR Race Hub [Premiere] Live - 4:30pm ET
Crowd Goes Wild [Premiere] Live - 5pm ET
FOX Football Daily [Premiere] Live - 6pm ET
Golden Boy on FOX, Daniel Jacobs vs Giovanni Lorenzo Live - 9pm ET
FOX Sports Live 11 PM ET