Fox Sports 1’s big original programming answer to ESPN’s popular, long running 5-6pm EST shows Around The Horn and Pardon The Interruption, was going to be the fun, innovative Crowd Goes Wild, hosted by Regis Philbin and company. After viewing much of the series premiere, I have just a few thoughts on where it is falling short and is really lacks much redeeming value at all.
First, the pace is quite slow in terms of content and discussion and there is little to no interplay or chemistry between the panelists. The lack of content and coherent discussion does not help, nor was the long segment spent on a horse named Regis and a carriage horse race.
For a show that is all about “the crowd,” there are no visual shots of said crowd, little crowd noise, and very little crowd participation, digital or live (outside of a useless live poll on Regis the Horse). Crowd Goes Wild showcases no tweets from fans or celebrities or hosts related to the show and, while it touts all the ways to follow the show on social media, there is little content being posted and zero interaction. The fact that FS1’s website has nothing related to the show front-and-center (in the fourth box of their rotating header on the home page) does not help the interested fan wanting to see more about the show. (Of course, no website to learn more about the show being shown on the screen does not help, either). Incorporating contests for tune-in, content from athletes and celebs, social posts from fans watching the show, and a call-to-action for fans watching the show, even if it is just a hash tag or a URL directing to a social hub or mobile application. Their low volume and quality of use of Vine, Instagram, and even Twitter/Facebook shows the lack of proper strategic planning. Every campaign needs a social media and digital plan and every digital/social presence should be used, used for a reason, and measured.
There is little sports content; though, I did like some of their more off-the-cuff sports stories discovered on the web. What they failed to do was give fans a way to share these share-able stories. Why not post links via social media or at a hub or direct fans to visit a website or social site to locate the content via FS1 and share it with friends?
A last quick note is a failure, in my opinion, to have a share-worthy Grand Opening, with exciting guests, cameos, surprise appearances, etc. that would create a true buzz. Bring out a pop culture star, a sports legend, both, and more and create conversation right away and the need to not miss out in the future. Day one should NOT be business as usual. Instead, their only “guest” was former boxing great and Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya…there to promote fights being aired on Fox Sports 1. Rather than try to give a good impression to curious first-time viewers and potential fans, Fox Sports 1 followed up their self-aggrandizing Regis horse story with an appearance from De La Hoya to plug programming coming on the network later that night.
Overall, I watched Crowd Goes Wild with great interest and a passing thought it could be a different, thought-provoking alternative to ESPN’s programming. So far, Crowd Goes Wild is a failure on all fronts, in my opinion.
What are your thoughts on its strengths and weaknesses? What were you expecting?
Posted by Neil Horowitz