SUN, 11AM ET
WBA4
BUR0
MON, 3PM ET
STO1
NEW0
TUES, 2:45PM ET
MCFC1
ROM1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
SCP0
CFC1
WED, 2:45PM ET
ARS
GAL
WED, 2:45PM ET
BAS
LFC

Men In Blazers’ Roger Bennett to Join NBC Sports Studio Team as EPL Special Contributor

roger bennett 600x337 Men In Blazers Roger Bennett to Join NBC Sports Studio Team as EPL Special Contributor

Following yesterday’s story in The Wall Street Journal that NBC Sports has decided to sign the Men In Blazers to a weekly TV show that will appear during the Premier League season on NBCSN, more details have been released today.

The big news is that Men In Blazers co-host Roger Bennett will contribute to studio shows throughout the season, where he’ll serve as a special contributor, providing on-site features from the UK and making monthly studio appearances alongside Rebecca Lowe.

Meanwhile, a special, digital-only version of Men in Blazers will be available on Friday of every Premier League match week. The videos, along with their weekly podcast, will be housed in a Men in Blazers section on NBCSports.com.

The news means that Men In Blazers will be leaving ESPN’s Grantland, where the duo has published their weekly podcast for the past few years.

The addition of Bennett to the NBC Sports studio will add some frivolity to the set for the upcoming season.

In May, World Soccer Talk suggested that NBC should add another person to the studio crew to mix things up. Bennett is certainly someone who fits that bill.

READ MORE — Interview with Roger Bennett on the art of football writing.

This entry was posted in Leagues: EPL, Men In Blazers, NBC, NBC Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

19 Responses to Men In Blazers’ Roger Bennett to Join NBC Sports Studio Team as EPL Special Contributor

  1. Peter Quinn says:

    Just my opinion. This is the first mistake NBC has made since they took over coverage of the BPL.

    The studio doesn’t need either one of the Men in Blazers guys in there. The same way I didn’t need to hear Judah Friedlander sharing his thoughts on footy.

    What I like about NBC’s coverage is that they take it pretty serious while saving viewers from the shtick and fake banter.

    I wish them luck with this. But I’m not expecting it to add to the coverage.

    • Cantona says:

      I was just going to mention he Judah Friedlander Fox appearance, probably the worst low for a Fox pregame.

      I agree don’t go with the shtick and fake banter aka Fox it’s really detracts from the broadcast. Only time will tell if this will work for NBC, but I’m guessing this won’t. 2nd fail for NBC for me, 1) Tim Howard 2) MIB

      Having a separate show is something I wouldn’t have a problem with but adding them to the studio is playing with fire, currently I enjoy the pregame, so with this addition I’ll have wait to see if will continue to watch it.

      Cantona—

      • Peter Quinn says:

        Agreed. I won’t pile on FOX anymore because I’ve completely given up on their coverage.

        I know Men in Blazers have a following, so giving them a show in one thing. But the in studio stuff is fine on NBC the way it is. They raised the bar of coverage in the states. It didn’t need tweaking.

        Even the times when they flash to Gary Lineker and Neil Ashton for their reports are good.

        I’ll give this a shot. But like I said, I don’t expect much.

      • Bob says:

        All that Rebecca Lowe ass kissing has paid off for these guys ;) Totally agree though, leave the shtick to Fox and the other nfl jocks.

      • Cantona says:

        I wish we had more Neil Ashton as well, he has a bigger gig with BeinSport Middle East, we see snipers of him on the Global Game with Richard Keys.. Guy knows his stuff, of course Lineker is the best in Britain. I would love it if they could get James Richardson to the show, he has a great chemistry with Rebecca from their Setanta days

        If you want to mix it up… Add some serious pundits

        Cantona—

  2. NC says:

    I’m halfway between liking and disliking this move. I’ll admit that I do like their podcast, but by bringing these guys into NBC’s coverage it may comprimise both the pod and the studio. I think the pod benefited from being removed from actual coverage while I echo the above commentors about the virtues of NBC’s coverage last year. One thing I will say about Bennett though is that his contributions to ESPNFC as a writer and his involvement in the series covering the national team leading up to the World Cup was totally different than the vibe set by the podcast, and totally different from the vibe on his weekly appearances on Morning Joe. I hope/believe that he’s capable of changing gears for his studio appearances to take on a more serious dialogue about the days matches. I will take a wait and see approach.

    • Peter Quinn says:

      I’m with you on all of this. Well said.

    • Scott Goin says:

      I have some concerns but I’ll wait and see how this turns out.

      I don’t think they’ll have Rog in there immediately after a big match making jokes. If they do, that’s a mistake.

      If they just give him a little segment at the end of the show (like with World Cup Tonight), that should be fine.

  3. Flyvanescence says:

    Yeah not sure about this. I guess im in te wait and see group. Would prefer their next hire be Gary Neville to work alongside Arlo. (We can dream)

  4. Dean Stell says:

    I really like Bennett and think he’ll be pretty good in this role, but my one word of caution would be for him not to overextend. He’s a really, really good writer and also a very good interviewer. And He kinda has a way about him where he can go from goofy and self-deprecating to serious that is very earnest and endearing.

    But…..I just hope that his A-list skills don’t suffer. I’ve heard a few radio personalities comment that the preparation demands of TV are really time consuming so that it takes all day to prepare for a 30 minute appearance.

  5. scrumper says:

    First bad move by NBC. What are they trying to do? How can this Bennett possibly add anything to the wealth of experience from the other team members, or is he going to be a court jester trying to be cutting and funny?

    I would expect this of Fox. If NBC are still serious they would do better to get Stewart Robson and or Lee Dixon in the studio from time to time.

  6. Dust says:

    The money would be better spent on upgrading their interactive tactics setup. perhaps give them some crayons and paper to help it along…seriously, NBC an upgrade is needed, after you’ve done that, use the cash to take the office staff out for a drink after each show, much better spend.

    Next thing NBC will employ Wynalda for analysis…DONT DO IT!

    Leave Men In blazers on Satellite Radio where it belongs. (radio graveyard)

  7. goatslookshifty says:

    As long as the deadpan smirkasm (yeah, I made that word up) is kept to a minimum, it might be ok. We all complained about seeing Earle, Mustoe and Martino week in and week out. And I say again, someone please get Bobby McMahon on TV again.

  8. Jeff says:

    There’s one important aspect about Bennett’s role that has been left out of this article. The press release announcing the MIB move to NBC clearly states that Bennett’s studio appearances will happen only on a MONTHLY basis alongside Lowe.

    This seems to me Bennett won’t play a regular role in the studio shows, but rather appear for a special segment/s each month.

    • Christopher Harris says:

      Jeff, good catch. I’ve updated the article to include the word ‘monthly.’ I intended it to be in there but must have missed it out unintentionally when I was writing it.

  9. Smokey Bacon says:

    You lot complaining make me laugh. You would love to be in this fella’s shoes. Basically he’s one of us who figured out how to turn a hobby into a job. Good luck to him. I’d much rather listen to him than any pundit fox has to offer. And it’s not like we’re talking about Gus Johnson here either. This is not the same situation.

    So calm down and enjoy the show. I thought they really came into their own during the World Cup. The segments were light hearted and suited the mood of Last Call. They were also quite short which might be the key. Not sure it hey could carry a 30 minute show unless it was a phone in format.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>