Yesterday FOX made it official lead announcer Joe Buck will be joined in the broadcast booth by Harold Reynolds and Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci. For Buck, who was born in St. Petersburg, this is the first year since 1996 that his broadcast partner will not be Tim McCarver.
Yesterday via conference call I spoke with Buck about the additions of Reynolds and Verducci to the booth. It will be the first time that Buck and FOX has used a three man booth for the entire season.
STF: After doing the tryout broadcasts with Reynolds and Verducci how long did it take for you to realize that these were the guys you wanted to work with each week?
Buck: ” Honestly about 15 minutes. It is tough to do an audition broadcast because you are calling a game off a monitor, so there is no live crowd to playoff. Also, the guys that are working with you know they are being graded on their performance. But the three of us worked so well together, we kind of started a conversation that lasted for the game. It was fun and I have know Harold and Tom for a long time so the conversation came easy to us. So, yes I would say it only took me 15 minutes to come to the conclusion that these guys would make good broadcast partners.”
Both Reynolds and Verducci will also remain part of the MLB Network family of broadcasters. This is solid and smart move for Fox because both Reynolds and Verducci already have a national following and are very good analysts. If you toss in Bucks strong play-by-play skills and his sense of humor, this should be a great year for the MLB on FOX.
Also of note is that Fox will change their pregame show and be adding a number of broadcasts to Fox Sports 1 cable channel and giving fans more national games to watch each week.
The MLB on FOX pregame show returns to the FOX Network Studios in Los Angeles for the first time since the 2012 season, and precedes most Saturday telecasts on FOX Sports 1. Kevin Burkhardt is set as the main MLB on FOX studio host during the regular and entire postseason alongside a rotation of analysts including Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, former Dodger great Eric Karros, World Series Champion Gabe Kapler and former Reds pitcher C.J. Nitkowski. FOX SPORTS LIVE’S Ryan Field also hosts during the regular season. The pregame show premieres Saturday afternoon, April 5th at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
FOX starts their brand new eight-year, multiplatform media rights agreement that adds national cable and digital coverage to its portfolio, doubling regular-season exposures, mostly on Saturdays, from 26 to 52 games combined on the FOX Broadcast Network and FOX Sports 1, with 20 Saturday doubleheaders, 10 exclusively on FOX Sports 1 and 10 split between FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Broadcast Network.
FOX Sports 1 makes its MLB debut on Saturday, April 5 with a doubleheader as the Minnesota Twins take on the Cleveland Indians followed by the San Francisco Giants visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The NL champion St. Louis Cardinals debut in FOX Sports 1’s first primetime showing on Tuesday, April 8 with a visit from the division-rival Cincinnati Reds.
Fresh off an inspirational and thrilling 2013 championship run for the city of Boston, the World Champion Red Sox premiere on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, April 12 at the New York Yankees.
Major League Baseball makes its 2014 debut on the FOX Broadcast Network on Saturday, May 24, the first of eight consecutive primetime windows leading up to the 85th MLB All-Star Game, with regionalized coverage of three exciting matchups.