Month: September 2018

David Katz

FOX Sports Names David Katz Executive Vice President, Digital

LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports announces David Katz has been named Executive Vice President, Digital. In this role, Katz will be responsible for managing the FOX Sports digital business, overseeing content and distribution for the group. The announcement was made by Mark Silverman, President, FOX Sports National Networks.

“We’re excited to bring David’s leadership to the team here at FOX Sports,” said Silverman. “We believe his breadth of sports experience will greatly enhance our existing digital team and advance our efforts to grow the FOX Sports digital business.”

Katz was most recently Founder and CEO of ThePostGame, a leading digital sports content and marketing agency, servicing leagues, teams, publishers, advertisers and athletes. Previously, Katz served as Head of Yahoo! Sports, Entertainment and Studios. Under his leadership, Yahoo! Sports became the most visited sports site in the world, and he launched and oversaw Yahoo!’s first original content division. Katz also spent eight years at CBS Television as Head of Strategic Planning and Interactive Ventures, managing the network’s business strategy and operating the digital and mobile divisions, including putting the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament online for the first time.

“With the industry’s best collection of rights, talent and viewership, no one is better positioned for the digital future than FOX Sports,” said Katz. “I look forward to working with this exceptional team to create world-class content that inspires the sports fan and our partners.”

Katz began his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He received his Master’s degree from Cambridge University in England and earned a Bachelor’s degree with first class honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he played varsity minutes for the Penn basketball team.

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Sports Regional Networks, their affiliated regional web sites and national programming; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com and FOX Sports GO. Also included in the Group are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

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U.S. Women’s National Team Forward Alex Morgan Joins FS1 for Sunday’s LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders Halftime Show

LOS ANGELES – Ahead of next month’s 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship, the regional qualifying tournament to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan joins FS1’s LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders halftime show on Sunday, Sept. 23. Coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET.

Morgan joins lead play-by-play announcer John Strong and Houston Dynamo star Stu Holden, who are calling the match live from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Katie Whitham reports from the sideline.

FOX Sports televises the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship across its family of networks from Oct. 4-17.

The match can be live-streamed via FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports app on iOS and Android as well as connected devices, including Apple TV, Android TV, FireTV, Roku, Chromecast and Xbox One.

Rob Stone, Robert Smith, Matt Leinart and Dave Wannstedt at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

FOX Sports Goes All In for Texas vs. Oklahoma in Annual Red River Showdown

FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME is Live from State Fair of Texas with Two-Hour Program Prior to 12:00 PM ET Kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 6

New York – Everything’s bigger in Texas, including FOX Sports’ plans for the Red River Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma on Saturday, Oct. 6. The network today announced that the game kicks off at 12:00 PM ET on the FOX broadcast network and is preceded by a special edition of FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREGAME live from the State Fair of Texas in Dallas beginning at 10:00 AM ET on FS1 and continuing at 11:00 AM ET on FOX and FS1.

Host Rob Stone and analysts Matt Leinart, Robert Smith and Dave Wannstedt go live from outside Cotton Bowl Stadium, bringing viewers the latest news and analysis leading up to one of college football’s biggest rivalries. During Saturday’s pregame show, Leinart sits down with one of the season’s biggest breakout sensations, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. Once the game kicks off, FOX Sports lead college football play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, analyst Joel Klatt and reporter Jenny Taft call the action.

The studio location, on Lone Star Boulevard between the Texas Hall of State and the Esplanade, also features special fan giveaways and activities, courtesy of FOX Sports and its partners, prior to the game on Saturday.

FOX Sports also presents complete coverage of the Red River Showdown on the FOX Sports app, as well as complementary digital coverage beginning with a special edition of Klatt’s Facebook Live show “Breaking the Huddle presented by Dr Pepper,” on Friday, Oct. 5, from the studio location. During the game on Saturday, FOX Sports’ digital offerings include Field Pass content created by FOX Sports U students as well as exclusive PROcast videos, Gus Johnson’s Call of the Game and more. After the final whistle, Klatt gives his postgame thoughts on Facebook Live from the broadcast booth, while Taft wraps up the day’s action on “CFB Now presented by Wendy’s,” exclusively on Twitter.

In 2018, FOX Sports televises an impressive lineup of top games from the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences. FOX Sports is also home to the Pac-12 and Big Ten championship games in addition to the San Francisco Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.

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Former UFC Champion Cruz and Current Lightweight Felder Join Host Bryant on FOX Sports Desk for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SANTOS VS. ANDERS Saturday

Veteran MMA Analyst Jimmy Smith and Brendan Fitzgerald Call Fights Live from Brazil on FS1, FS2 and the FOX Sports App

LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports announces former UFC champion and current No. 2-ranked bantamweight Dominick Cruz and current lightweight fighter Paul Felder serve as analysts with lead UFC host Karyn Bryant for FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SANTOS VS. ANDERS programming on Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, while Laura Sanko reports and interviews fighters onsite in Brazil.

Veteran MMA analyst Jimmy Smith joins blow-by-blow announcer Brendan Fitzgerald to call FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SANTOS VS. ANDERS live from Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday, Sept. 22 on FS1, FS2 and the FOX Sports app. Victor Davila and top-ranked UFC flyweight Brandon Moreno call the fights in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

The main event highlights No. 12 middleweight Thiago Santos (18-6) and late replacement Eryk Anders (11-1) in a 205-pound clash. One of Brazil’s favorite sons returns home on Sept. 22 as Santos faces Anders in a clash of two of the sport’s heaviest hitters. After finishing five of his last six victories by knockout, Santos has never been more dangerous on fight night. In Anders, he will be facing an opponent who has the ability to end the fight with just one punch, and has finished seven of his 11 fights by KO/TKO.

FOX Sports UFC programming begins Wednesday, Sept. 19 with UFC TONIGHT at 8:00 PM ET on FS1, when hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier preview FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT.

The weekend’s coverage kicks off Friday, Sept. 21 with the UFC FIGHT NIGHT WEIGH-IN SHOW on FS2 and streaming on the FOX Sports app at 5:00 PM ET, with Cruz, Felder and Bryant on the desk, previewing the fights. Sanko interviews fighters onsite.

Action continues Saturday at 7:30 PM ET on FS2 with UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW, as the same desk crew breaks down the upcoming battles. The UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS, begin at 8:30 PM ET on FS2, FOX Deportes and the FOX Sports app, with Fitzgerald and Smith calling the four exciting bouts. Charles Oliveira (23-8, 1NC) takes on Christos Giagos (15-6) in a lightweight bout, while Francisco Trinaldo (22-6) and Evan Dunham (18-7-1) square off in another lightweight clash. Luis Henrique (10-4, 1NC) faces Ryan Spann (10-5) in a light heavyweight bout, while Augusto Sakai (10-1-1) and Chase Sherman (11-4) open the PRELIMS with a hard-hitting heavyweight bout.

The main card continues at 10:30 PM ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes, featuring five thrilling bouts, including the headliner between Santos and Anders. No. 14-ranked welterweight Alex Oliveira (18-4-1, 2NC) and Carlo Pedersoli (11-1) fight. Light heavyweight Sam Alvey (33-10, 1NC) takes on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (22-7). Former champion Renan Barao (36-6, 1NC) and Andre Ewell (13-4) square off at bantamweight, while No. 13 Randa Markos (8-7) and Marina Rodriguez (10-0) begin the main card with a strawweight scrap.

The weekend wraps with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW at 1:00 AM ET, as Cruz, Felder and Bryant recap the fights and Sanko interviews the winners.

Leading up to the fights, UFC fighters offer unique, behind-the-scenes clips on FOX Sports PROcast and on the FOX UFC social pages. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all updates throughout the #UFCSP fights Saturday.

Viewers can live stream the UFC shows on the FOX Sports app, through the FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes streams. The shows are available on desktop at FOXSports.com and through the app store or on connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

FOX SPORTS UFC PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

DATE TIME (ET) EVENT NETWORK*
Wednesday,

Sept. 19

8:00 PM UFC TONIGHT FS1
Wednesday,

Sept. 19

10:00 PM THE UTLIMATE FIGHTER: HEAVY HITTERS FS1

 

Wednesday,

Sept. 19

11:00 PM TUF TALK FS1

 

Friday,

Sept. 21

5:00 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT WEIGH-IN SHOW FS2

 

Saturday,

Sept. 22

7:30 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW FS2
Saturday,

Sept. 22

8:30 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS FS2
Saturday,

Sept. 22

10:30 PM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SANTOS VS. ANDERS FS1
Sunday,

Sept. 22

1:00 AM FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW FS1

*All programs available on FOX Sports GO and FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83

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A Conversation with FOX Sports’ Robert Smith Morphs into an Out-Of-This-World Experience

FOX College Football Analyst and Former Ohio State and Vikings Running Back Shares Passion for Astronomy and Classical Music

New York – Interspersed among conversations one might overhear on the FOX College Football set regarding the latest stats, upsets or playoff hopes, is “Did you know one day on Venus is like 243 Earth days?”

That little-known cosmological nugget comes to you courtesy of FOX Sports college football analyst and former Ohio State and Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Robert Smith.

Strip away the athletic accolades, muscle and grit, and you unearth Smith’s lively passion for astronomy and classical music, nurtured since childhood, but made possible via opportunities afforded him during his NFL playing career.

“I’ve had a curiosity about the natural world and science since early in life, and I remember looking through astronomy books as a third grader and being fascinated,” Smith said. “You look at a black sky and can see some stars, but you can’t really begin to imagine the different worlds that exist until you see it for yourself.”

Smith’s interest in astronomy became a self-confessed obsession with the purchase of a singular piece of equipment.

“As a rookie in the NFL, it hit me like a flash of light that I finally could afford a telescope, so I bought my first and went nuts with it,” Smith recalled. “That’s when astronomy became an obsession for me. I began reading Stephen Hawking books on cosmology and the origins of the universe, and learning more about deep space objects and star charts and buying Astronomy and Sky & Telescope Magazine.”

Prior to being selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft, Smith majored in history at The Ohio State University but also studied biology, chemistry and physics pursuant to an interest in attending medical school. Among the most fascinating sights for the Buckeyes running back, who performed cloning and sequencing of genes in the school’s hematology/oncology lab during the summer of 1991, is the sixth planet from the sun.

“Seeing Saturn for the first time is mind-boggling,” Smith exclaimed. “It truly looks fake in the telescope because you just can’t believe the rings are real. Seeing something so deep in space so clearly for the first time really ignited my passion for astronomy.”

The All-Big Ten rusher, who visited his first planetarium as an elementary school student, is raising his two children with a respect for and knowledge of the universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. His eight-year-old daughter oftentimes is his astronomy shadow and aspires to be a scientist.

“Anyone who sees the universe for the first time is blown away, and she saw that at such a young age,” Smith explained. “The connection is that much stronger because of her age.”

Science is a frequent topic around the Smiths’ breakfast, lunch and dinner table just outside Dallas. In fact, a simple question by his six-year-old son led to a prime opportunity for a recent science lesson directly applicable to this weekend’s (September 22) autumnal equinox.

“Just the other day, the kids were asking about it getting dark earlier in the evening, and I explained the days are getting shorter, and there is a 12 hour/12 hour split with the equinox and solstice every year – the longest and shortest days of the year,” Smith related.

Think that’s impressive for mere dinner conversation? Take a look at other stats Smith spouts off nearly as effortlessly as if he were reading a box score: “A day on Venus is longer than a year on Venus — it takes Venus 243 Earth days to rotate once on its axis. Venus also produces a runaway greenhouse effect” or “The winds on Neptune are nearly 600 miles-per-hour.”

Lest one think Smith, a fan of Morgan Freeman’s “Through the Wormhole” TV series, sat in the NFL locker room alone with his savant tendencies, be advised he had at least two kindred spirits in the pro football world.

“Robert Griffith was a mechanical engineering major at San Diego State, and Pete Bercich was a goofball who went to Notre Dame, and I often talked to both about astronomy, science and the universe,” Smith said. “Theoretical physics is a fringe topic, and there aren’t that many people in the general population who discuss these topics, so it was nice to have those conversations.”

Smith also can dazzle (or befuddle) with his knowledge of music. Raised in Ohio on Motown and late ‘50s tunes, Smith fell in love with the classical genre after seeing A Clockwork Orange and taught himself to play piano late in his NFL career.

“Malcolm McDowell’s character was obsessed with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and in high school, when I got my first CD player, that was my first CD,” Smith recalled. “It’s a fascinating piece that really opened me up musically. Denny Green (former Vikings coach) was a drummer and had a drum set in the Vikings’ facility. He turned me onto jazz in Minneapolis. When The Lion King came out, I started getting into African music, specifically the ‘African Lullabies’ album. So, it was Public Enemy and Nine Inch Nails to pump myself up, and then relaxing to get my mind ready for a game with ‘Aretha Franklin Sings the Blues’ and ‘African Lullabies.’”

His two biggest hobbies don’t exist independently of each other. The scientist in Smith also crisscrosses the musician in him.

“There’s a great book on the intersection between science and music — ‘This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession,’ which discusses the neurological impact of music,” Smith stated. “Different musical keys, such A-major, have different influences on a person’s emotions. The music most tied to emotions is that which you listened to when going through significant changes in early adolescence. That is the music you are most attached to for the rest of your life. Even people with significant memory loss are able to remember songs from their teens. It’s a fascinating book. Science is so incredibly fascinating.”

Robert Smith is equally fascinating. Some might even call him out-of-this-world.

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Todd Fuhrman Scores Perfect 8-0 Weekend, Crowned LOCK IT IN’s First “King of the Week”

Over the weekend, oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman managed a perfect slate of picks — going 8-0 in predictions across the NFL, college football and boxing. Accordingly, Fuhrman was crowned LOCK IT IN’s first “King of the Week.” Watch the coronation here:

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Benjamin Spencer Appointed Director, Communications and Media Relations for FOX Deportes

LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Deportes announced Benjamin Spencer has been named Director, Communications and Media Relations. In this role, Spencer will support the network’s communications strategy across its portfolio of properties – NFL, Liga MX, MLB, UFC, PBC, MLS and NASCAR. He will report directly to Carlos Sanchez, Executive Vice President and General Manager, FOX Deportes as well as the FOX Sports Communications team.

“We are delighted to welcome Benjamin to the FOX Deportes family” said Sanchez. “He brings a wealth of multicultural experience and knowledge to his role which will help us continue to grow in this ever-changing landscape.”

Spencer comes to FOX Deportes with deep roots in the soccer world, having recently served as Director of Communications for Relevent Sports, organizers of the International Champions Cup. He began his career at Major League Soccer before transitioning to CONCACAF.

“I am thrilled to be joining FOX Deportes and the FOX Sports family,” said Spencer. “There’s an incredible roster of talent and programming here, and I’m excited to play a key role in telling those stories and building for the future.”

Spencer is a graduate of Grinnell College and a native of Brooklyn, New York.

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FOX Sports’ BIG EAST Lineup Adds to Robust 2018-19 Hoops Schedule

Defending NCAA Champion Villanova, Marquee Non-Conference Matchups, Gavitt Tipoff Games and More Highlight FOX Sports Slate
FOX and FS1 Televise Complete BIG EAST Tournament from Madison Square Garden for Sixth Consecutive Season

New York – FOX Sports is once again home to some of the nation’s best college hoops, today announcing its full BIG EAST men’s basketball schedule. Among the highlights are the full conference tournament from New York City’s Madison Square Garden on FOX and FS1, the Gavitt Tipoff Games, multiple appearances from NCAA Champion Villanova and marquee non-conference tilts. Overall, FOX Sports televises more than 150 BIG EAST games, including at least 17 on the FOX broadcast network.

FS1 and BTN are the exclusive homes to the Gavitt Tipoff Games, the annual early season challenge between the BIG EAST and Big Ten conferences. FS1 televises six of the event’s eight games beginning with a doubleheader on Tuesday, Nov. 13, as Xavier hosts Wisconsin at 6:30 PM ET, followed by Georgetown at Illinois at 8:30 PM ET. The cross-conference challenge continues on FS1 with two more games Wednesday, Nov. 14, beginning with a rematch of the 2018 NCAA Final, as Villanova hosts Michigan at 6:30 PM ET. Action continues that evening with Marquette at Indiana at 8:30 PM ET, followed on Thursday, Nov. 15, by Ohio State at Creighton (7:00 PM ET) and Penn State at DePaul (9:00 PM ET) on FS1.

The FOX broadcast network televises its first BIG EAST basketball of the season with a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 1, as a pair of BIG EAST programs host a pair of perennial contenders. Action tips off at 12:00 PM ET with Louisville at Seton Hall, followed at 2:00 PM ET by Gonzaga at Creighton. Another monster non-conference showdown comes to FOX the following weekend, as the Pirates continue their tough schedule against Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in the Citi Hoops Classic on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 12:00 PM ET. That evening, Marquette hosts Wisconsin for an in-state affair at 5:00 PM ET.

As the calendar year closes, conference play begins. Highlighting the early BIG EAST slate is a meeting between last year’s BIG EAST Tournament Championship Game participants, as Providence hosts Villanova Saturday, Jan. 5, at 2:00 PM ET on either FOX or FS1. On Sunday, Jan. 27, a pair of BIG EAST legends returns to Madison Square Garden, as St. John’s, led by head coach Chris Mullin, meets Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown at 12:00 PM ET on FOX. That afternoon’s broadcast doubleheader is capped by Seton Hall at Villanova at 2:30 PM ET.

FOX Sports is the home to the BIG EAST Tournament from Madison Square Garden beginning with a pair of first-round games Wednesday, March 13, on FS1. FS1 also presents the quarterfinals (Thursday, March 14) and semifinals (Friday, March 15) before the FOX broadcast network airs the championship on Saturday, March 16, at 6:30 PM ET.

College basketball games on the FOX broadcast network, FS1, FS2, FOX Sports Regional Networks and FOX College Sports are also available on the FOX Sports app.

FOX Sports’ full 2018-19 BIG EAST men’s college basketball schedule, as well as the previously announced Big Ten schedule, can be found on the attached document.

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FOX NFL Posts Strong Opening Drive with Year-Over-Year Week 1 Growth

AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK on FOX Continues as No. 1 Program in All of Television
FOX NFL Streaming Platforms Up +64% vs. 2017

New York – FOX Sports’ 25th year of NFL coverage is off to a positive start with ratings and viewership increases across its Sunday NFL studio shows and regional game window as well as television’s No. 1 program, AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK.

FOX’s AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK (AGOTW), which featured the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, delivered a 13.1 household rating with 23,303,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Sunday’s AGOTW is up +2% over last year’s Week 1 performance (vs. 22,801,000 viewers) and ranks as the network’s highest-rated and most-watched broadcast of any kind since the NFC Championship game in January.

Sunday’s NFL regional window on FOX registered a 7.4 household rating with 12,538,000 viewers, up +11% over last year’s average audience delivery (vs. 11,345,000 viewers). Through Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season, FOX is averaging 17,935,000 viewers with a 10.3 household rating, up +5% over 2017.

FOX’s NFL pregame shows, FOX NFL KICKOFF (11:00 AM ET) and FOX NFL SUNDAY (12:00 PM ET), both posted increases when compared to Week 1 last year. FOX NFL KICKOFF posted 1,168,000 viewers, up +4% over last year (vs. 1,125,000 viewers) while FOX NFL SUNDAY, the network’s signature NFL pregame show, averaged an impressive 4,835,000 viewers for a +6% increase over last year (vs. 4,557,000 viewers). FOX’s THE OT postgame show wrapped up Week 1 with an average of 12,329,000 viewers.

Streaming across FOX, NFL and Yahoo Sports! digital properties are off to a strong start, with AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK delivering an average minute audience of 240,000 and 1,400,000 unique streamers to rank as the most-streamed regular season NFL window in FOX Sports history (vs. 218,000 average minute audience & 837,000 unique streamers – Week 4 in 2017). Overall, the first Sunday of the 2018 season delivered an average minute audience of 216,000 across the regional and national windows, +64% over last year’s Week 1 NFL Sunday on FOX (vs. 132,000 average minute audience).