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Fox Sports 1 Cancels America’s Pregame Show

Jason Barrett

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Jamie Horowitz’ first tangible move at FS1 is coming this week, as the network canceled its daily studio show “America’s Pregame,” which will produce its final episode tomorrow. Fox will replace the show in the 5:00-6:00pm ET time slot with “The Best Thing I Herd,” a best-of show from Colin Cowherd that will be hosted by Kristine Leahy. Fox Sports execs stressed that the change was not a cost-cutting move. Rather, they said it was the first step of a plan to remake the afternoon programming slate into a more opinion-focused programming block.

The hour-long “APG” launched nearly 18 months ago with Mike Hill and Molly McGrath as hosts and struggled to find a big audience. The FS1 show has averaged around 40,000 viewers since the start of August. Fox Sports created the show to act as a nightly pregame show, one that provided a look ahead to the games coming that night. FS1 and FS2 Exec VP/Content Charlie Dixon said Fox is looking for a show in that timeslot to be more conversational with hosts that are more opinionated.

It’s unclear at this time if Hill will be reassigned. McGrath is currently a sideline reporter for Fox’s college football coverage, and is expected to continue in that role. She tweeted the following:

FS1

Credit to the Sports Business Journal who originally published this article

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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