FoxSports.com on MSN on will premiere its first five, mid-day, Internet-exclusive programs on Sept. 14, touting the package which will be offered at 1 p.m. each day as "Lunchtime is the New Prime Time."
Mediaweek first reported on June 22 that Fox Sports was going to target the lunch-hour audience with original programming to coincide with the start of the National Football League season. Fox Sports chairman David Hill said at the time that the site has its largest concentration of visitors during the lunch hours and that the goal was to both reach more male viewers and to cross pollinate Fox Sports' television coverage by bringing some of its TV sports personalities to the Internet.
The website will offer one original show each day of the week. The Afterparty with Jay Glazer, which will be both live and taped, will premiere on Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. and run each Monday during the NFL season. Glazer, who does written reports on FoxSports.com and also does segments on the Fox on NFL Sunday TV show, will host a show in which he interviews the five best performers in NFL games the day before, either on camera or by phone.
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Coachspeak with Brian Billick will premiere, featuring the Super Bowl winning former head coach and NFL on Fox game analyst. Billick will be joined each week by a group of five NFL head coaches to discuss game strategies.
Current head coaches scheduled to appear include Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars; John Fox, Carolina Panthers; John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens; Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers; Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys; Rex Ryan, New York Jets; Jim Schwartz, Detroit Lions; Mike Singletary, San Francisco 49ers; Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons; and Jim Zorn, Washington Redskins.
The College Experiment, which FoxSports.com is touting as an irreverent college football review and preview show, will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Fox is promising the show "won't be a couple of guys in suits acting as though they're curing a fatal disease."
Cubed will premiere on Thursday, Sept. 17 and is described by Fox as "more of a pop culture show for men than a sports show." On the show, three workers sitting at their cubicles in an office will talk about current events, sex and sports, among other male topics. There will also be irreverent skits and interviews and Fox is warning that "the easily offended would be advised to surf elsewhere."
The fifth show, on Fridays, premiering Sept. 18 will be Inside Call, and will offer uncensored web generated audio and video of the weekly conference call between Fox NFL Sunday writers and producers Fox NFL commentators Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson.
The shows were produced under the umbrella of the newly created Fox Sports Digital Entertainment unit. Hill said the unit will be producing programming for FoxSports.com on a year around basis.
In April, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch authorized moving FoxSports.com from under the Fox Interactive Media umbrella to Fox Networks Group, and gave Hill oversight of the overhaul of its look and functionality. The move officially took place on July 1, although Hill had been working on the programming aspects for FoxSports.com prior to that.
"We've established Fox Sports DIgital Entertainment to develop a variety of programs that appeal to hardcore sports fans, many of whom turn to their computers for entertainment and information as they lunch," Hill said. "Not every show is going to click first time out, but we're going to probe and push to see where we can go, and then how far."