TMZ Sports debuted on FS1 Monday morning. The show, which promises to “[offer] a window into the world where sport and celebrity cultures intersect — whether at a party, movie premiere or an ordinary day”, is a prime example of Jamie Horowitz’s impact at the network.
Horowitz, who joined FS1 in April, previously brought ‘Embrace Debate’ television to ESPN. His style of programming is one meant to provoke, champion hot takes, and see level-headed analysis take a backseat. Although shows like First Take may infuriate some fans, the fact is that it works, and it works well. First Take, Horowitz’s prize creation over his time at ESPN, recently experienced record ratings, and its co-stars, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are two of the network’s most prized assets.
At FS1, Horowitz immediately brought that style to the network by bringing in Colin Cowherd and making him the network’s dominant daytime programming. Though Cowherd hasn’t seen ratings yet, it’s worth noting that Mike Francesa, who previously occupied that spot, did not do much better and it’s always tough to get ratings in the middle of the day.
Ultimately, FS1 is going to see more success as it continues to embrace debate, sensationalism, and provocative commentary. Like it or not, Horowitz’s model works. We’ve seen it before, and fans can expect we’ll see it again.