Fox Sports 1 (aka FS1) is struggling to find an audience that can make it a real head-to-head competitor with ESPN. Though its highlight shows do show a lot more highlights and feature a lot less in the way of talking heads, they have been unable to win a decent share of the ESPN audience, even as people become more and more dissatisfied with ESPN’s lack of journalistic integrity and its loud debate shows.
Journalistic integrity is probably not the name of the game with TMZ Sports, which Fox Sports has announced will debut on FS1 next Monday:
With the premiere of TMZ SPORTS on Monday night, Nov. 9 at 12 a.m. ET, FS1 shines a nightly Hollywood-sized spotlight on the celebrity and lifestyles of today’s athletes, sports stars of yesteryear and newsmakers who make the games we love possible. A half-hour program airing late night Monday-Friday on FS1 (12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesdays following GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN), TMZ SPORTS features exclusive up-to-the-minute, off-field stories and breaking news specifically focused on sports personalities making headlines around town.
“TMZ SPORTS offers a window into the world where sport and celebrity cultures intersect — whether at a party, movie premiere or an ordinary day,” said Jamie Horowitz, President of FOX Sports National Networks. “To both avid and casual sports fans, these stories are captivating.”
Spearheaded by Harvey Levin, the TMZ franchise is the first multi-platform, three-screen success for any media outlet and is the most-cited entertainment news source in the world. TMZ.com launched online in 2005, and the original TMZ television program, from Telepictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, first hit the airwaves in September 2007; it currently ranks as the No. 1 entertainment news program in first-run syndication among young adults, men and women 18-34 & 18-49 for the 2015-’16 season to-date.
Fans of the intersection between sports and reality TV culture should find a lot to love here, but it remains to be seen if this will be the kind of journalism fans fleeing ESPN are looking for.
Fox Sports 1 is channel 219 on DIRECTV. Check your local listings for other cable TV providers.