Confirming what had been reported earlier this year, Mike Francesa announced today that his WFAN Radio show would be simulcasted to a national audience on Fox Sports 1. Francesa moves to FS1 after spending over a decade at YES Network.
The Francesa simulcast begins on Fox Sports 1 on March 24th. Ironically enough, it means that beginning in April both Mike Francesa and former partner Chris "Mad Dog" Russo will have national television shows on competing networks. Russo hosts his own MLB Network talk show beginning Opening Day.
The most interesting element of Francesa's FS1 deal is the simulcast arrangement. We had wondered how the sports pope would fit into Fox Sports 1's studio programming with NASCAR Race Hub and Crowd Goes Wild already established in the late afternoon hours. It's a unique situation for Francesa and Fox.
The first three hours of the radio show will be simulcasted on Fox Sports 1 from 1-4 PM ET.
The next two hours of the program will then move to Fox Sports 2 and air from 4-6 PM ET.
That's right, Mike Francesa is too big to just be contained to one channel! It's a four year contract between Francesa and Fox, so expect to see plenty of the czar of New York sports talk over the near future.
It's a remarkable deal for Francesa and better than he could have ever dreamed of at YES. Now his battles with prank callers, random rants on golf, eruptions over an unclean studio, and other proclamations on the sports world from high up on his lofty mountain will be aired to a national television audience.
Francesa is the kind of dynamic personality Fox Sports 1 desperately needs. Time will tell if he brings any viewers to the fledgling network.
You can see the full Fox Sports announcement here.
UPDATE: Fox Sports 1 even has a promo ready for the sports pope right out of the gate...