Published August 19, 2013
Regis Philbin launches his new sports talk show “Crowd Goes Wild!” on the brand new Fox Sports 1 cable network Monday night. Philbin has promised his show, which will air live Monday-Friday, will be more about sports fans, celebrities and sports entertainment, and less about ex-athletes arguing sports’ finer details.
“We’ve got a nice little panel of people together, a lot of friends,” Philbin recently told The Post. “And if a celebrity like George Clooney comes to town with a movie, we’ll play clips from his movie — but we’ll also talk to George, who grew up in Cincinnati, about his sports roots, like if he’s still a big Reds fan.
Philbin, 81, left “Live” almost two years ago after co-anchoring the show with Kathie Lee Gifford and then with Kelly Ripa for 25 years. Fox Sports 1, meanwhile, is all of two days old, debuting on Saturday in almost 90 million homes with a hint of the programming it will offer up in the coming months. The first week of FS1 will feature a NASCAR Truck Series race, UFC fights and UEFA Champions Leaguesoccer games. Big 12 and Pac-12 football will anchor the network in the fall, and those conferences will be joined by the new Big East come basketball season.
Those are the kind of regular, high-profile live events that will attract viewers to the channel, after which they might stick around for its sports network staples of commentary, interview and documentary shows.
The benchmark of sports network success right now is 1.2 million homes tuned in each night during prime time; that's ESPN's average this year through late July, according to Nielsen. Speed, which FS1 is replacing, averaged 155,000. NBC Sports Network was at 273,000, ESPN2 at 317,000.
"Fox Sports Live," the channel's answer to ESPN's "SportsCenter," premieres in its regular 11 p.m. slot. Analysts on "Fox Sports Live" include the NBA's Gary Payton, the NFL's Donovan McNabb and Ephraim Salaam, and tennis' Andy Roddick.
More ex-football players will appear on the network's entries into the crowded NFL talk field: "Fox Football Daily" and a one-hour Sunday morning pregame show.
The AP contributed to this report.