Give NBC Sports Network credit: launching a brand new daily morning show for a relatively new sports network is a big step.
For example, next week, the established NFL Network will be debuting their new morning show, “NFL AM,” which promises to execute creative ways to fill four hours each day.
So what’s NBCSN got up their sleeve? They’re going to effectively produce a twenty-minute show – and repeat it on a loop for two hours.
The name of the show, “The ‘Lights”, right away gives you the premise of the program: highlights. According to an NBCSN press release, it’s intended “to serve the busy morning schedule of sports fans.” In other words, it’s the classic news radio slogan, “You give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world” concept, but focused on sports – and, of course, it’s on television.
But if you’re wondering what bright personality will greet you every morning on “The ‘Lights,” prepare to be burned out: “[It] will not feature an on-camera anchor or set,” the press release continues. “The show will use a unique presentation of simultaneous video clips, graphics and voiceovers to deliver the scores and information.” In other words, it’ll be a sports show commanded not by Costas, but by chyrons.
Oh, and the show “will be updated as necessary.” Like there’s really a lot of sports action going on between 7-9 AM ET, which is when “The ‘Lights” will air. It will debut on Monday, August 13, after the 2012 Summer Olympics have concluded.
This has to be a temporary fix. I mean, you couldn’t find a radio show to simulcast for a few hours? That seems to be the “in” thing on sports cable networks these days.
Of course, NBC Sports Network could easily air video of whatever morning show is scheduled on their new NBC Sports Radio Network, which launches this fall – but they don’t anticipate a complete 24/7 programming wheel for at least a few years, so “The ‘Lights” is more than likely a temporary fix until that point.
Meanwhile, it does not appear that CBS Sports Network has any original morning drive programming before they broadcast a video feed of Tim Brando’s midday radio show. Maybe they’ll be filling that time period once their own brand new sports radio network launches full-time in January – perhaps with one Craig Carton and one Boomer Esiason, who already have a television simulcast via regional sports network MSG.
Anyway, NBC Sports boss Jon Miller calls “The ‘Lights” the show that “will serve as a catalyst for our new programming lineup” – a lineup which also includes a video version of Sports Illustrated magazine, and the post-Olympics return of their nightly “NBC SportsTalk” show.
Miller, who admits he’s “excited” (imagine that) about NBCSN’s new morning show, vows “The ‘Lights” will “quickly provide sports fans all of the scores and highlights they crave as they start their day.”
Miller then stopped short of announcing “The ‘Lights” has been replaced by “the ‘net.”
Again, I’m not panning NBCSN’s decision – just the concept. When you take “The ‘Lights” and put it up against “NFL AM” and “Mike & Mike” and “Boomer & Carton” and all of the other morning shows on sports television, people will almost always go for the live programming every time.
And if “all of the scores and highlights” is what they really “crave” when they wake up in the morning, most of these shows have tickers on the bottom of the screen with this info.
Or, if you’re fortunate enough to have a 24-hour all-news radio station, you can tune that in – of course, the caveat is you have to wait every half-hour for the sports update.
But at least there will be a live person presenting the scores – something “The ‘Lights” will not offer.
Which, if you think about it, really dims its chances right out of the gate.