Fox has exclusive English language broadcast rights to Super Bowl LVII this Sunday. However, President Biden is not sitting down with a Fox News personality for the traditional Super Bowl Sunday interview this year, breaking from tradition.
Variety reported Friday morning that Fox News said the White House declined an interview. “We offered an interview with our top news anchors with no strings attached—they’re walking away from a huge audience and it’s a major missed opportunity,” a Fox News executive reportedly told the news outlet.
Biden has still yet to grant Fox News a formal interview since taking office.
Citing a White House official, The Daily Beast reported that the administration had actually locked in a pre-game interview with Fox Sports host Mike Hill and actress Vivica A. Fox, who hosts several programs on Fox Soul, the Fox Corp-owned ad supported streaming service targeting Black Americans. According to the Beast’s source, the interview was set to air Sunday on Fox Soul and could have been shared across Fox platforms, but Fox Corp declined.
The White House Press secretary tweeted:
The President was looking forward to an interview with Fox Soul to discuss the Super Bowl, the State of the Union, and critical issues impacting the everyday lives of Black Americans. We’ve been informed that Fox Corp has asked for the interview to be cancelled.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) February 10, 2023
This marks the first time Biden has skipped the annual Super Bowl Sunday interview with an English language news outlet. He sat down with Lester Holt last year for a Super Bowl pregame interview when NBC had rights to the game, and with Norah O’Donnell for a Super Bowl pregame interview in 2021 when CBS had rights to the game.
President Biden has given multiple TV interviews since Tuesday’s State of the Union address. He sat down with Judy Woodruff on Wednesday for PBS NewsHour, and with Julio Vaqueiro on Thursday for Noticias Telemundo.
A televised interview featuring POTUS on Super Bowl Sunday has become a tradition, going back to 2004 when CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz sat down with then President George W. Bush in 2004 before the big game. The live interviews continued with President Barack Obama. However, they became taped once Donald Trump became president. Trump’s first Super Bowl interview, with then-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, took place in 2017. He broke off the tradition in 2018 when NBC had rights to the game. Trump’s refusal to sit down with NBC for a Super Bowl Sunday chat stemmed from anger over a 2017 interview he did with Holt, during which Trump told the veteran anchor that when he fired FBI Director James Comey, “I said to myself, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.” The interview gave prosecutors in the Mueller investigation yet another reason to think Trump had sought to obstruct justice, and Trump later claimed NBC was “fudging” the tape to make him look bad.
After a year off, Trump sat down with CBS’ Margaret Brennan in 2019 and Fox News’ Sean Hannity in 2020.