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Jay and Dan To Return With a Rebuilt Fox Sports Live

Jason Barrett

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Fox Sports Live co-anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who took turns this past week blasting their own network on TV, social media and on the radio, will return to FS1’s airwaves on February 22nd to debut a new version of the show, sources tell The Big Lead.

Onrait and O’Toole, who arrived from Canada in 2013 for the birth of the new network, starred on the ratings-challenged Fox Sports Live for two years before the show faced dramatic alterations. Initially hatched as a show to rival ESPN’s Sportscenter, the matchup never materialized. The advent of social media and having highlights at your fingertips 24-7, and specialized programming for fans of single sports, have sent the traditional sports highlights show into increasing obsolescence, which is what former ESPN host Keith Olbermann said this week. Olbermann and Dan Patrick made the highlights show cool in the 90s, but in recent years, TV ratings for SportsCenter have been eroding.

ESPN’s flagship program is also in the midst of iterating. Out with highlights, in with strong opinions. ESPN is pushing Stephen A. Smith more and more on SportsCenter (and on its most popular radio show, Mike & Mike); Jay and Dan will be emphasizing more opinion and personality because everybody already knows what happened in the games.

Jay and Dan did not merely leave breadcrumbs about their dissatisfaction with the direction of the network and their own careers, they dropped loaves. Given that this time off was not scheduled prior to a meeting between the pair and FS1 president Jamie Horowitz on Monday, some eyebrows were raised around the network. The Big Lead initially heard that they were off the air due to a suspension; a Fox Sports spokesman says that this is “totally inaccurate.”

Perhaps a “cooling off period” might be the best label, given that the time off is paid and with the intent of enabling Jay and Dan to recharge their creative juices in the Fox offices before rebooting the show?

To read the rest of this article visit The Big Lead where it was originally published

Sports TV News

FOX Sued for Patent Infringement Over NFL Scheduling

“Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.”

Jordan Bondurant

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An analytics company is suing FOX over claims that the network developed a mapping tool using their patented technology to create a season slate of NFL games.

Recentive Analytics filed suit against FOX in a Delaware federal court on November 29 according to Yahoo Sports.

The lawsuit claims FOX used access to Recentive’s predictive analytics tools to develop a resource of their own that would create optimal schedules for its 1 and 4 p.m. NFLwindows.

The company is seeking a declaration that FOX infringed on two of its patents. Recentive is also suing for damages and wants an injunction keeping FOX from using Recentive tech and preventing the network from “selling, offering for sale, marketing or using any internal network and mapping analytics tool for the scheduling and regionalization of events covered by the patents.”

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Sports TV News

FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage

“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”

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The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.

Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.

“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.

Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.

How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.

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Sports TV News

NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake

“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”

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The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.

“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”

Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.

Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.

Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”

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