Buzz has been building for Fox Sports 1, America’s only hope for a true alternative to ESPN and SportsCenter, for some time now. The new station will launch in August and has been building a roster of sports stars and personalities like Charissa Thompson, those dudes from Canadian SportsCent(re), Andy Roddick, Bill Raftery and more.
ESPN says that they’re not scared of upstarts taking a piece of their throne — even though that throne is currently seeing uncharacteristically low ratings. So these reports that ESPN is talking with Keith Olbermann about the former anchor’s potential return to the network? Totally not a ratings-based ploy. They probably just miss the guy:
The Daily News has learned Worldwide Leader is in serious discussions with Olbermann to host a New York-based late night talk show on ESPN 2, according to industry sources.
The sources said the situation is still “very fluid” and no decision on green-lighting Olbermann or the project has been made
Olbermann has a very complicated relationship with, well, everybody involved in this situation. A SportsCenter anchor from 1992-1997, Olbermann was part of the Dan Patrick class of “I used to work for ESPN but now, blech, gross,” calling Bristol, Conn. a “god forsaken place.” He was also the host of a Fox Sports Net show and a Fox MLB show, the latter of which was dumped by the network in 2001. He’s also currently slated to host an MLB postseason show for TBS this fall, which would conflict with his plans for a show on ESPN at the same time.
Basically, Olbermann has, and has had, in fingers in many sports-flavored pies, and while those fingers are now sticky with pie-filling, they’re still some good-looking and entertaining fingers.
It’s a good move for ESPN. Consider this conversation I had over gchat with a member of one of our sister sites (and a non-sports fan) when referring us to this story. Name changed to protect identity/reputation:
“Steve/Monique”: I love me some KO. he’s such an asbergersy dick
Me: do you know him from his SportsCenter days or are you basing that on MSNBC?
“Steve/Monique”: I didn’t watch sportscenter at the time, but I’m basing it on anytime I’ve ever seen him open his mouth I pretty much love what comes out
There you have it. Keith Olbermann’s mouth is a sought-after commodity, and ESPN would be wise to snatch it back up — even if Fox Sports 1 proves to be a mere blip in the Worldwide Leader’s trek towards global domination.