What You’ll See on Fox Sports 1

So Fox Sports 1 has been officially announced? What’s next? The launch on Saturday, August 17 which will include a NASCAR Truck Series race and a UFC card. During the event that introduced US version of Fox Sports 1 to the world (let’s not forget the original Fox Sports 1 in Australia), we learned that […]

What Can We Expect From Fox Sports 1 and 2?

The worst kept secret in sports media finally gets pushed from behind the curtain and will be officially unveiled to advertisers and the media on Tuesday. Fox Sports officials will be at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York to tell the world what the average fan will see on the new Fox Sports 1 […]

Quick Mid-Week Links

I’ll do some linkage here. USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Dick Vitale finally gets to call the NCAA Final Four, but for an international audience. John Ourand at Sports Business Daily reports that Fox is in talks with Regis Philbin to host a show on Fox Sports 1. Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report wonders […]

Gus Johnson To Call International Soccer For Fox

This coming into the Fang’s Bites inbox and a little bit of a surprise. First, we began hearing that Gus Johnson was calling MLS games over the past couple of years. And Deadspin has video of one of his games from last year.  Privately, I was thinking that Fox could utilize Gus on the World […]

Picking Out Some Sunday Links For You

Let’s do some Sunday linkage on this first NFL regular season Sunday of 2012. We’ll begin with Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press with an interesting story on how Connecticut is fast becoming home of major sports media companies. Candace Jackson of the Wall Street talks about her visit to Rich Eisen and his wife, […]

Fox Hires Former Acclaimed NBC Sports Producer To Lead World Cup Effort

Received this from Fox Sports. It’s hired former NBC Sports Producer David Neal to lead its World Cup coverage that will begin with the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Neal has a wealth of experience with NBC Sports totaling 30 years. During his tenure with the Peacock, Neal worked on many events including the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and of course, the Olympics.

He also served as Executive Producer of NBC Sports under former Emperor Dick Ebersol.

At Fox, Neal will be responsible for the on-air look, hiring on-air talent, the production team, as well as working closely with FIFA.

We have the Fox announcement.


New York & Los Angeles – Talented sports and Olympics television producer David Neal, with over 30 years of production experience at the highest levels and recipient of 34 Emmy Awards, has joined FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) to develop and execute coverage plans for the FIFA World Cup across all FOX Sports platforms including broadcast, cable and digital. The announcement was made today by Eric Shanks, Co-President & CEO, FSMG and David Nathanson, Executive Vice President, FOX Soccer. Neal reports to John Entz, FSMG’s Executive Producer.

In October 2011, the FIFA Executive Committee awarded FSMG, the exclusive U. S. English-language media rights to FIFA World Cup soccer from 2015 through 2022, which includes the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (location TBD), as well as other FIFA events.

Neal’s responsibilities as Executive Producer, WORLD CUP ON FOX, are as diverse as they are all-encompassing. In addition to the creative plan, he is charged with designing the production infrastructure for FSMG’s stadium and studio operations, as well as forming the on-air, production and technical teams to call and present the action. Simultaneously, Neal works closely with FIFA, host broadcaster HBS and the local World Cup host organizing committees to implement FOX’s operational plan for each World Cup event. He’ll also work closely with Nathanson and Jonty Whitehead, FOX Soccer’s recently appointed Executive Producer, to expand the network’s programming and business opportunities and production capabilities. In addition to preparing for the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Neal is expected to work on next summer’s prestigious CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have David Neal, the consummate television professional, join us to lead our World Cup coverage and work closely with FOX Soccer,” said Entz. “Very few producers have the requisite experience that would qualify them to assume this responsibility, but clearly David does. In his 30 years at NBC he led complex international events like the Olympics, as well as the NBA Finals, World Series and countless others. We expect him to use his talent, vast experience and organizational skills to build and implement FOX’s world-class World Cup coverage.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the FOX Sports family and to welcome the world’s premier sports event to a new home,” offered Neal. “I look forward to working with the amazing team here at FOX, and I have no doubt that we’ll work together to make the FIFA WORLD CUP ON FOX into unforgettable television events.”

Prior to joining FSMG recently, Neal spent two years leading his production company, David Neal Productions, following a storied 30-year tenure with NBC Sports and Olympics, a career encompassing live events, studio shows, documentaries, and anthology programs. In his three decades at NBC, Neal produced nine Olympics, four NBA Finals, two World Series, and a Super Bowl pregame show. In addition to his 34 Emmys, Neal’s creativity and innovation were recognized with a Peabody Award following the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.

At NBC, Neal held dual roles as Executive Vice President of NBC Olympics, responsible for the production, programming and technical engineering departments, along with serving as Executive Producer of NBC Sports, giving him additional responsibility for all sports production.

Neal produced the prime time show and Opening Ceremony during NBC’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, which generated an audience of 190 million viewers. The Opening Ceremony drew an audience of 67.5 million, making it the most-watched non-U.S. Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in American television history.

In Beijing 2008, Neal led NBC’s record-breaking coverage (70 million viewers) of the spectacular Opening Ceremony, following two years of planning with legendary Chinese film director Zhang Yimou. NBC’s coverage of Beijing’s Opening Ceremony was recognized with a prestigious Peabody Award, which described the broadcast as, “an exponential magnification of what once was known as a television spectacular.” The Opening Ceremony also earned Primetime Emmy Awards in three categories, including Outstanding Special Class Program.

Beyond the Olympics, Neal produced many other memorable NBC Sports live telecasts, including three of the four most-watched NBA Finals games in U.S. television history: Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals – Michael Jordan’s dramatic final game with the Chicago Bulls (#1, 35.9 million viewers), Game 5 of the 1998 Finals (#3, 30.6 million) and Game 5 of the 1997 Finals (#4, 30.3 million viewers). Neal’s two World Series productions included the thrilling extra-innings win by the Florida Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

Neal graduated from the University of Southern California in 1978 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Neal’s father – the late Roy Neal – was a much honored and respected NBC News correspondent, producer and executive from 1948-86. Neal was born in Newport News, Virginia, and raised in Woodland Hills, Calif. He now lives with his wife Jen in Los Angeles.

That is all.

A Few Tuesday Sports Media Thoughts

Time for some sports media thoughts. These have been percolating in my head all day Monday. It’s fine time to pour them out and have you peruse through them. As always, they’re in bullet form. Monday’s announcement from NFL Network regarding its new morning show could be a game changer for sports television. If “NFL […]

Attempting A Friday Megalink Post

This week has been hellish for me and I apologize for not being able to post as much as I would like. I’ve been away from my computer for most of the day and by the time I get home, I’m tired and don’t want to update the blog. Well, with me already done my […]

The Big Dozen Sports Media Stories of 2011

Time for the Fang’s Bites Sports Media Year in Review. The year isn’t big enough for a Top Ten, but it is big enough for a Big Dozen. Let’s get to the list and we’ll count down from 12 and also have some Honorable Mentions. 12. ESPN The Book One of the most anticipated books […]

Doing The Wednesday Links

Let’s provide some mid-week linkage for you. Sports Business Daily recaps how ESPN’s SportsCenter handled NBA highlights on what should have been the Opening Night of the regular season. SBD also looks at Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s agreement to sell the team at auction. Paul Thomasch with Reuters says MLB is looking to […]

Back With The Friday Megalinks

Due to a crazy schedule for most of this week and then having a medical procedure done yesterday, I have not been able to blog like I’ve wanted to. Links have been scarce, but I’m available to do them now and hopefully, won’t be interrupted. Your Weekend Viewing Picks have your sports and entertainment programming […]

Let’s Do Some Monday Linkage

Ok, I won’t be in all day on Tuesday, although I will have my iPad and I’ll try to post any breaking news from a conference in Taunton, MA tomorrow. But while I’m in the office now, it’s time for some linkage. Starting with Sports Business Daily, we learn that Game 4 of the World […]

Providing Some Sunday Linkage

Let’s do some linkage on this Sunday morning. Some good stuff to get to. TVbytheNumbers says World Series Game 3 easily won the primetime ratings last night over college football and repeats on NBC. The Associated Press has an in-depth story on how Fox and Telemundo won the rights to the 2015-22 World Cups. Marisa […]

Telemundo Crows About World Cup Rights

We have the official announcement from NBC Universal’s Telemundo obtaining the rights to the FIFA World Cups starting in 2015 and running through 2022. Under the agreement announced Friday by FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, Fox and Telemundo will air the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and the Men’s World Cup […]