How Does FS1 Stack Up Against ESPN?

FS1 has some room to grow

Written by Josh Hoffert (@WhatTheHOFF)
Fox Sports Live set FS1

The set of Fox Sports Live

It has been roughly two weeks since I switched my sports experience from ESPN to Fox Sports 1.  The results are in and they’re…mixed.

It’s important to remember that the network is young.  I believe as it grows, it will only get better.  One thing that helps right from the start is the fact that they have a lot of talent that does have experience.  For instance, Regis Philbin is experienced to say the least.

Regis’ show is called “Crowd Goes Wild”.  I didn’t realize Regis was really into sports.  Either way, he appears knowledgable on various topics.  The show is an hour long and played in the same time slot as ESPN’s “Around the Horn”  and “Pardon the Interruption”.  One thing I found oddly similar to ATH and PTI is the commercial interruptions.  The show is “themed” around sports and is entertaining, but doesn’t always have the sports news I want to hear.  Many segments seem to focus on being entertaining with sports as an afterthought.

Again, as the network continues to grow, I believe it will get better.  In the afternoon, there are quite a few shows that seem to be for more niche audiences.  I personally do not need to watch Fox Soccer Daily or the NASCAR Race Hub shows.  There is also a lot of shows dedicated to UFC.  While I do enjoy a good soccer match and some UFC fights, I don’t need to see review shows on either.  If you know any history of ESPN though, they started their network in a similar way; niche sports.

The college football coverage and the soccer coverage was great.  These are two major acquisitions for the network to have at this point.

One thing I find to be a waste of time is the break right after going to commercial.  An anchor shows up and makes a statement about sports and says “more in a moment”.  After a few commercials, he reappears and tells the rest of the story.  This makes no sense to me.  If the two mini segments were combined there would be more  time to tell the story.

The side and bottom bars are informative.  The side bar shows a lot of social media information and upcoming sports events.  The bottom bar tends to be a bit bigger than ESPN’s bottom line.  Because of this, it appears to look more like a scoreboard.  It’s useful.

The people on every show appear to be having a good time.  I think this is great because I don’t want a bunch of sticklers reporting on sports with zero personality.

One thing that didn’t drive me crazy like ESPN does was the airing time Fox Sports Live.  SportsCenter airs nearly all day long which makes news grow old fast.  On the other hand, FSL airs a little later at night.  It may not air as much as SportsCenter, but the chance of tuning in seems rare because of its time slot.

To wrap this up, the network is good, but has some growing to do.  In the long run, I believe it may be able to compete with ESPN.  FS1 has the talent to do so, they just need to step up their content a bit.  Sports should come first and entertainment should be an afterthought.  I’ll keep watching.

Remember, there will be one more review coming from guest poster Megan Heck.  Check back later this week for a different point of view.

What are your thoughts on FS1?




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