Fox's college football pre game show left many shaking their heads.
In 1994, Fox made the bold move of aggressively winning the rights to the NFC football package. The $1.58 billion dollar roll of the dice not only launched the formation of Fox Sports but also saw Fox jump into the class of ABC, CBS, and NBC who were at the time considered the "The Big 3."
Fox won over fans quickly as they brought in talent like John Madden, Pat Summerall, Dick Stockton, and Terry Bradshaw into the fold and invested a lot of resources into having additional camera angles of the games and more ability to show instant replays.
Even with the better production, better announcing talent, and the better product as the NFC dominated the 90's, what resonated most with fans was Fox NFL Sunday, the hour long pregame show.
At the time, other networks had 30 minute pregame shows and were more buttoned up than Fox, who for better or worse, went with a more casual and open ended show. In the years to come, pregame shows were extended to a full hour and popped up on cable networks despite not having any NFL games during the day.
Fast forward to today and once again Fox is in a similar position, although the task at hand is even more daunting. While CBS and NBC have some college football programming, ESPN has a monopoly in terms of mind share over the sport. Games on Thursday night, Friday Night, all day and night on Saturday, and spanning the likes of ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. ESPN not only does college football big.....it does it very well.
College Gameday is a treasure in the sports media landscape and Brent & Herbie are potentially the most popular "A Team" of announcers spanning all the major networks and major sports.
But credit Fox for entering the fray again. After 3 years of being ridiculed for their BCS bowl coverage while striking out on any regular season packages, Fox is at it again. The network has acquired rights to Big 12 and Pac 12 games in addition to alternating the Big Ten Championship game and the Cotton Bowl.
While Fox's game packages, production quality, and depth of announcing talent are still behind ESPN (Gus Johnson not withstanding), the area where you think they could compete and done historically well is where they're getting outclassed the most.
The pregame show.