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Here’s Everything That’s Wrong With FOX Sports In 30 Seconds

In 30 seconds, this is everything that’s wrong with FOX Sports. Even though the TV commercial below is focused on college football, it underlines what’s broken with FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Soccer. The sport should be the main focal point, not the announcer.

Titled “The Gus Johnson Effect: Everything’s more exciting,” the more appropriate title should be “The Gus Johnson Experiment: Everything that’s wrong with FOX Sports.”

No matter what sport is, if FOX Sports has to tell the story of how the announcer makes a difference between dreary days and excitement featuring some blonde chick and a unicorn, something has gone horribly wrong.

The focus of any TV ads to promote upcoming coverage should not mention the announcer as the main selling point. The same applies to the promos FOX Soccer has been running that are talking up this year’s UEFA Champions League Final “featuring Gus Johnson.” No matter if it’s Martin Tyler or Brian Moore brought back from the dead, the announcer should never ever be the main event. If it is, then there’s either something drastically wrong with the sport if it can’t sell itself.

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  1. Steve

    May 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    If the game is the focal point, why is the only thing mentioned on the open threads Gus Johnson. I for one didn’t even notice Gus in the FA cup final.

  2. Matt

    May 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Too bad no “main stream” channel has the Bundesliga rights like Fox or BeIN…today was the real “Survival Saturday.” A head-to-head match for the final Champions League spot, two teams fighting for the final Europa League spot which went down to the final minutes and three teams fighting to avoid the final automatic relegation spot with Hoffenheim winning at Dortmund to get a playoff

    Anyway back to the topic, this is Fox, they love doing over-the-top stuff for sports. I remember in their baseball coverage a few years ago they had a freaking talking baseball describing what each different pitch does. Then back when they had the NHL the “laser puck” experiment etc..

  3. Smokey Bacon

    May 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Unfortunately this is American culture. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Nightly News with Brian Williams. It’s all about the celebrity first. Our yank brethren just lap it up. I think they sell sport this way because the reality of almost all American sports is that they are boring as hell. Without some tool screaming nonsense nobody would watch anything as dull as throwball or baseball.

    • Guy

      May 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm


      Baseball is like cricket on speed. “Batter steps into box. Grabs crotch. Spits. Steps out of box. Rewraps batting glove. Steps back into box. Grabs crotch. Spits. Here’s the pitch. Ball one. Batter steps out of box…..” 😉

  4. Jason

    May 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I actually liked the more measured commentator, quiet and allowing you to follow the action and think about what’s going on on the field. With the Gus commentary it was just loud noise interrupting the action.

    There is a difference between sports commentators in the US and Britain. Here the voice is sometimes more important than the person’s knowledge and US commentators talk at a mile a minute with no dead air. It’s as if they get paid by the number of words they speak. It’s not uncommon for US commentators to “call” more than one sport, whether they are very knowledgeable about the sport or not.

    In Britain it seems that the commentators are more measured and don’t mind saying nothing if there’s nothing to say. They don’t state the obvious and most are very knowledgeable about the sport they are covering. A Martin Tyler does not commentate on rugby or cricket. He sticks to the sport he is knowledgeable about.

  5. Cantona

    May 18, 2013 at 10:36 am

    This shows that Fox thinks celebrity will win over substance. Until he started screwing up football matches, I never knew who he was. Most footy fans have never heard of him.. Most wish we hadn’t. Fox showed a preview of the UEFA CL final after the FA Cup…there was one segment showing a planted “fan” asking Johnson for an autograph….to me that showed what Fox think they have.. A celebrity that trumps anyone of true quality doing commentary. The novelty has finished.. There is no Gus factor in football.. No American fans are going to watch more football because of him.. He is done.. And now Fox are losing their base viewers… He has become a laughing stock… Joke.. A phony… Viewers in the USA are more mature than the Johnson experiment we are going to illegal streams.. We have done it before.. When games were not available.. This was our only outlet… So a lot of fans are going back to how we watched matches when we didn’t these niche channels. Next season I will be watching the Champions League, but it won’t be with Gus Johnson.. Or Fox Sports.


    • Pete

      May 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Great point.

      Every Fox channel (Fox national, Fox News, Fox Sports, FX, etc.) is centered around celebrity. They want to be the loudest, the most outlandish, the most “edgy”.

      When Fox first started competing against the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) that was their calling card. They have stuck to that.

      They introduced some groundbreaking television. But that have also had some major flops in the search to be the network that thinks “outside of the box”.

      What I will always scratch my head over: there is a simple easy to follow plan for broadcasting football matches. For the most part, Sky gets it. It’s about the supporters and the games.

      All you need are some respected football analysts who are well thought out and a good crowd microphone to pick up the sounds coming from football stadiums. There is nothing like an atmosphere at a football match.

      Martin Tyler is a great announcer because he has a good foundation of football knowledge and he knows how to let the game unfold in front of the viewers without saying too much.

      There are so many good announcers who’s names I don’t know….and I don’t need to their names. I just know when I hear their voice at the start of the match, that I’m in for a good viewing experience.

      Fox isn’t going to change how it operates. Their argument will be that it’s what they’ve done since day one and it got them to where they are now as a network. And for that part, I can’t argue with them.

      But football/soccer coverage didn’t need any innovation.

      People will argue that something needed to be done in order for soccer to grow in the states. I will argue that all soccer needs to grow in the states is for US sports fans to see “good” football played in front of passionate fans.

      If you only give the average American sports fan the option of watching the MLS and college soccer, they’re not going to be excited about the sport. But make it easy for them to find the best world football leagues on their television, they’ll say “Holy sh*t. What is going on here!”

      World Cup rating were always good because people in the US were seeing the best of the best. I don’t know why it took so long for a major network to pick up the Premier League.

      • Guy

        May 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        “There are so many good announcers who’s names I don’t know….and I don’t need to their names. I just know when I hear their voice at the start of the match, that I’m in for a good viewing experience.”


  6. Scott

    May 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    This is soooooo true. The game should be the focal point.

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