13 March 2014

Mike Francesa is bringing his simulcast to Fox Sports 1 & 2

A new home for the simulcast of WFAN's Mike's On: Francesa on the Fan has been anticipated since the YES Network announced in December that it was dropping the show, and since the simulcast went off the air in late January after the show and its predecessor Mike and the Mad Dog had been on YES since 2002. Now it has been made official, in a unique arrangement, Mike Francesa is headed to Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.

It was reported a month ago that Francesa was headed to Fox Sports 1, but this arrangement includes the previously unreported wrinkle of the show being split between FS1 and FS2. The first three hours of the program, 1 pm to 4 pm, will air on FS1 with the remaining two hours switching over to FS2.

It is still a little bit of a surprise that Francesa is headed to a national sports channel, considering he does a local show in New York and he had previously said that he was not interested doing a national show (YES is available nationally but not in that many homes).

That said however, while this will fuel those who think there is an East Coast bias in the media, this is a solid move by Fox Sports. Francesa's show gets very strong ratings in New York on radio and did well on YES, this helps FS1 fills afternoon hours with topical programming and help gain a foothold in the New York market, only the biggest market in the country. It also is a strong move for FS2, all but forgotten by some, as it helps the lesser distributed network get more programming and eyes. And with the last two hours on FS2, FS1's early evening programming (NASCAR RaceHub, Crowd Goes Wild, Fox Football Daily) remains intact.

This also speaks to the power of WFAN, the original and strongest sports talk station in the country. After all, the show's very popular Boomer and Carton morning show is shown on another sports network, CBS Sports Network, despite also being a local program. The fact that two of their daily shows are nationally simulcast speaks to how strong the FAN is, even with their ridiculous new jingles.

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