It makes sense, then, that the time to shake things up would be now. We're either going to have an NHL season on Jan. 19 or not at all. If we do, it's time to assemble a primetime lineup that can actually stand to benefit from the National Hockey League's (and eventually the English Premier League's) presence.
You may need to be reminded, perhaps, that the NBC Sports Network's parent company lured Michelle Beadle away from ESPN back in May, and they've been looking towards developing a program for her. That development will come to fruition on Jan. 28, when she co-hosts The Crossover with Beadle and Briggs. Beadle's co-host will be former Fox News' anchor David Briggs, a former sportscaster with CSN New England.
Here's NBC's description of the show:
Designed for viewers who want more than basic sports news and scores, The Crossover will focus on the biggest and most topical stories of the day in the worlds of sports, pop culture and entertainment. As part of the daily show, Beadle and Briggs will welcome guests from sports and entertainment to discuss the news of the day, the sports teams they love, the projects they are working on and more.
The Crossover (@Crossover) debuts Monday, January 28 from New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII. Original episodes will air each day from a specially designed set during Super Bowl week. Beginning Monday, February 4, The Crossover will move to its permanent home in Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.
The Crossover will fully integrate with social media. The set will feature a 7-foot by 13-foot monitor wall, flanked on either side by 80-inch LED monitors directly connected to live social media feeds. Beadle and Briggs will use the monitor wall to pick and choose the "Starting 5" stories of the day, deliver sports highlights, share viral videos, and highlight twitter topics trending among various athletes and celebrities.
To make room for The Crossover, an NBC Sports spokesperson confirmed to me yesterday that the network's current flagship, nightly show, NBC Sports Talk, will be put on hiatus once Beadle and Briggs hit the airwaves. A bit of a shame that the show is taking a break, because it quickly became a place that embraced smart discussion of sports rather than the ESPN-ification of sports talk. Hopefully, it finds a new place soon.
If the NHL comes back, it will find itself on a fairly crowded network. NBC Sports Network now airs The Dan Patrick Show every day from 9 a.m.-noon ET, and is now even adding the half-hour "wrap-up show". Now, in primetime, they'll have one of the emerging stars of sports media. Be awful nice if they had some hockey to air right after it, right?