Seen on Screen: DirecTV to Launch Fantasy Football Channel; CBS Sports Network Adds The Doug Gottlieb Show

by Jarrel Harris, Editorial Assistant

DirecTV said it will launch a live fantasy-football show available only to NFL Sunday Ticket Max subscribers, debuting this fall on Sunday afternoon during the National Football League regular season.

DirecTV Fantasy Zone will air on channel 704 on the satellite-TV provider’s lineup, alongside DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel highlight service, and provide analysis and statistics powered by NFL.com Fantasy along with multiple on-screen tickers with real-time statistics, key-player updates and other information helpful to fans involved with rotisserie leagues. The hosts will be Kay Adams, of NBC Sports and Rotoworld.com, and former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones. Fantasy-football analyst John Hansen also will be featured, along with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Adickes, commenting on player injuries.

The show will air live from a New York City loft, DirecTV said. The NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL Sunday Ticket Max packages are exclusive DirecTV offerings showing all out-of-market NFL games and is free for the first year for all new DirecTV subscribers: otherwise the pricing as listed is $239.94 for Sunday Ticket and $329.94 for Max. Max is an enhanced version of NFL Sunday Ticket that includes extra services including Red Zone Channel, streaming rights and this new channel.

…CBS Sports Network will expand its live weekday studio programming with the addition of the “The Doug Gottlieb Show.” The popular afternoon show broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Radio will be simulcast on CBS Sports Network beginning Monday, August 25. The three-hour program will be hosted by Gottlieb live Monday-Friday from 3:00-6:00 PM, ET.

The show debuted on January 2, 2013, and features National sports talk, headlines, and interviews with current and former sports icons, as well as newsmakers from the sports world and listener phone calls. Gottlieb has received praised for his highly opinionated program that keeps fans engaged.

“Adding The Doug Gottlieb Show greatly strengthens our afternoon line-up adding three hours of live and relevant content each day,” said Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports.  “Doug’s show is high-energy, insightful and entertaining and we are excited to extend the reach of his radio show to the CBS Sports Network television audience.”

According to Sports business journal, the move follows the canceling of “Lead Off”, an original late night talk show that featured Gottlieb. The network felt it was best to include the radio show because radio simulcasts shows are currently booming everywhere on television networks from Mike & Mike, The herd, SVP & Russillo, to Dan Patrick at NBCSN, to Mike Francesa at FS1, to Boomer & Carton on CBS Sports Network.

Gottlieb also serves as a studio and game analyst for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network’s coverage of college basketball, in addition to his hosting duties of “The Doug Gottlieb Show” on CBS Sports Radio.  Additionally, he serves as an anchor of “CBS Sports Minute,” a 60-second commentary related to the hot topics in sports.

…Fox Sports 1 premiered “Big Sticks with Ken Griffey Jr. on June 24. The show is hosted by former beloved big leaguer Ken Griffey Jr. The debut episode featured Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. During each show, Griffey Jr. and an MLB player will talk about hitting, with breakdowns of batting practice, film sessions, and an in-game performance, providing candid conversations between the two. Junior was known throughout his career for having one of the most beautiful baseball swings in history and was a polarizing figure in his prime.

“We’re thrilled that Junior wanted to do this project,” said Michael Bloom, FOX Sports SVP of Original Programming.“ His undeniable legacy as one of the greatest power hitters of all time, combined with the fact that the majority of today’s great hitters grew up with him as their idol, gives us a unique, authentic and hardcore foundation for this series.” “This project is a perfect example of the type of all access programming that baseball fans have come to expect from MLB Productions.”

Fox Sports 1 has been aggressive building network coverage over the past year, only time will tell how successful the show will be, but there is no alarming notes on how well respected Junior is around baseball, as most of the people he’ll be talking to are either former peers or young players who idolized him growing up.

…ESPNU presented it’s second annual Summer of Next schedule; a series of marquee events featuring the nation’s top high school athlethes across fice sports. The Summer programming begins with the Opening on July 8, continues with the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse, the Nike EYBL Finals at Peach Jam, Adidas 64, Adidas Nations, the Senior and Big League Softball World Series, the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp, American Legion Baseball World Series, and the High School Football Kickoff.  Overall, the Summer of Next will feature more than 25 games, 60 hours of programming, and hundreds of elite student-athletes.