How an NHL On FOX Would Look in 2010
January 27, 2009 8 Comments
We’re gonna’ guess that FOX isn’t going to release series of hockey cards in anticipation of it’s return to broadcasting hockey, if the reports are to be believed. But we imagine that FOX would attempt to do some heavy promotion and give the games their stamp. FOX never does anything less than 100%, so it’d be interesting to see. Of all the networks, we’ve always thought the one who would have the most interesting take on TV hockey in 2009 would be FOX. So let’s take a look at what The NHL On FOX might look like in 2010.
Announcers: Any network aside from ABC/ESPN to take over NHL telecasts is hiring Mike Emrick to be their lead play-by-play announcer. Unless FOX decides to throw perennial second banana Kenny Albert a bone, it’s Emrick, Sam Rosen and Kenny Albert along with a cast of regional announcers, perhaps Dave Strader, as he’s in the FOX Sports realm (working for FSN Arizona).
As far as color men go, I wouldn’t be shocked if Pierre McGuire came over to FOX with Emrick, unless he wanted to lessen his slate of work. Add Joe Micheletti, Brian Hayward to that list as well. Networks love Joe Micheletti for some reason, and he worked with FOX as their #2 man in the previous stint of the NHL On FOX. Everyone loves Brian Hayward for some reason too, and he has a job with FSN Prime Ticket and would give the network a more West Coast Focus. Daryl Reaugh would be someone to be on the lookout for getting a job as well.
Studio Show: It’s hard to say. FOX is dumping it’s MLB studio show and Curt Menefee doesn’t seem likely to host NHL coverage, but then again, who thought James Brown was? The most likely angle FOX would take is to beg Friend-of-Doug Weight and current everything announcer Joe Buck to host the Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Classic. Perhaps MLB host Jeannie Zelasko or NASCAR host Chris Meyers gets tossed into a weekly rotation.
Remember, hockey needs some sort of studio show because it has naturally implemented 17-minute intermissions, which is why FOX would even bother doing one when it won’t do one with baseball coverage this season.
As for studio analysts, a guy like Darren Pang, who’s with FOX Sports Arizona, or Jim Fox – with FOX Sports West – seem like naturals for studio work and live close to FOX’s headquarters in LA. There’s always semi-free agent analyst Bill Clement for the gig as well, currently toiling away doing backup work on CSN Philadelphia. Of course, never count FOX out to make the big move and hire one of Canada’s top analysts (Craig Simpson, Ray Ferraro) when they did the same with Greg Millen in the late 90’s.
The games would likely look like a combo of FSN’s current hockey productions and other Fox Sports broadcasts, with reference to graphics. FOX guinea pigs a lot of it’s hockey experiments on FSN West and Prime Ticket. Look for innovations such as Slow-mo cams, and a possible “Rinkside View” now and then, though we all know how that ended up with the Ducks.
Fox has quite a few promotional outlets. A player or commentator could visit FOX News, or possibly Talk Show with Spike Ferestein. FX, FSN, FOX News, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Business News and other networks could provide ample promotion for regional action on the big network. Fox also did the best job of involving regional affiliates when it came to advertising hockey games. An affiliate in St. Louis would air “The Mike Keenan Show” prior to NHL games.
Now, as we’ve said, we kinda doubt the NHL is coming back to FOX. But we think they’d certainly do a good job if they came back.