For nearly a quarter century now, ESPN’s College GameDay has ruled the Saturday morning college football pregame show landscape with absolute authority. The show started way back in 1987, and started moving from campus to campus in 1993. Its current core of Chris, Lee and Kirk have been coming to your city since all the way back in 1996 without any a serious challenge from any other network.
That’s about to change.
Fox Sports 1, which launches three weeks from today, is set to become the biggest contender for viewers’ eyeballs since ESPN became the Worldwide Leader in Sports. The network will be in 90 million homes on day one and, unlike NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 1 already owns significant properties in college football, college basketball, NASCAR, UFC, Major League Baseball and international soccer.
Where Fox Sports 1 hopes to make its biggest initial punch at ESPN’s cable sports monopoly is in college football.
In addition to showing a significant number of Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA games right off the bat, they’ll have games on Thursday and Friday as well as a Saturday tripleheader in Week 1 in addition to Big 12 and Pac-12 games on the Fox broadcast network, the network will run Fox College Saturday opposite GameDay. Debuting Aug. 31, FOX College Saturday will air from 10 a.m. to noon ET (GameDay starts at 8 a.m. ET on ESPNU and begins an hour later on ESPN) from its Los Angeles studios. Erin Andrews will host, with analysis from Eddie George, former USC running back and 10-year Fox veteran Petros Papadakis, former Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt, college football writer Clay Travis and rules analysis from Mike Pereira.
“Bottom line: We’re going to have a really entertaining show that I think will make your Saturday mornings even better than they already are,” Travis writes.
Whether Fox College Saturday can bruise the 800-pound gorilla remains to be seen, but we’re excited to watch them try.