Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

ESPN braces for Fox Sports 1

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann (Credit: Keith Olbermann (Getty Images))

Keith Olbermann’s return to ESPN has revived a famous quote from the network’s past, in which communications executive Mike Soltys said Olbermann didn’t burn bridges when he left but rather that he “napalmed them.’’

Well, Olbermann is back now and ESPN hopes he brings the smell of victory in its budding rivalry with Fox Sports 1, which launches Aug. 17 – nine days before Olbermann’s late-night show on ESPN2.

TheBigLead.com reported Olbermann might even host “SportsCenter’’ the week of Aug. 19, adding to the drama.

Truth is, most viewers – already oversaturated with sports TV filler – will not care much about this competition. But it will be wonderful for media writers.

The day the Olbermann deal was announced, ESPN president John Skipper referenced a Fox Sports 1 promotion that uses the 1929 song “Happy Days are Here Again.’’

“I read that the Fox guys think happy days are here again, and I'm happy that happy days are here again for them," he said. "Sorry they were not happy before, because the days at ESPN have been happy for quite some time and this is another happy day for ESPN.’’

Tags: ESPN , Fox

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