With 100 days to go until launch, Fox Sports 1 continues to firm up programming plans and add on-air talent.
The national sports network, which is scheduled to bow on Aug. 17 in some 90 million homes, today announced the additions of Don Bell, Molly McGrath and Julie Stewart-Binks.
Bell’s primary role will be to serve as an anchor for Fox Sports Live, the network’s news, opinion and highlights show that will compete with ESPN’s SportsCenter. He joins Fox Sports 1 after three years as an anchor for ESPNews. His career also includes stints as weekend sports anchor at KYW-TV, CBS’s affiliate in Philadelphia, at WWSB-TV in Sarasota, Fla. and KPLR-TV in St. Louis.
McGrath will work as update desk and news correspondent. Most recently, she worked as a sideline reporter and in-arena host for the Boston Celtics and was responsible for live segments at TD Garden. She also served as a host of CelticsNow, a monthly recap show on Comcast SportsNet New England.
Stewart-Binks will serve in a similar capacity as McGrath. Stewart-Binks has been an on-air personality for Canada’s CTV. Prior to CTV, she was a reporter with Fox Soccer for the Fox Soccer Report in Winnipeg. An avid hockey player and fan, she also worked at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada as a program assistant.
These personnel announcements come on the heels of a number of other recent key hires.
On the programming side, Fox Sports 1 will air Fox Sports Media Group’s original series Being which will profile the New York City Police Department football team. The one-hour documentary, The Finest, will chronicle the NYPD’s semi-pro football squad from the beginning of its season in April to its regular-season finales against the New York City Fire Department in the Fun City Bowl at Hofstra University on June 2. The documentary, which will air in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey, will also pay tribute to officer Joe Pritchard, who was killed in a car accident the before the season kicked off.
FS1 officially launches at 8 a.m. (ET) on Saturday, Aug. 17 and will include 18 hours of original programming, 16.5 hours of them live. The proceedings will begin with NASCAR Live from Michigan International Speedway. FS1 will then rev up seven hours of NASCAR programming, highlighted by coverage of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
UFC will be on the opening day scene at 5p.m. with UFC Tonight, followed by UFC on FS1 Saturday, live from TD Bank Garden in Boston from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. FS1’s first day will be capped with Fox Sports Live.