An ESPN broadcast legend is leaving for Fox Sports. Bill Raftery, long time ESPN broadcaster will be joining the legendary Gus Johnson on Fox’s new channel Fox Sports 1. Together they will form the lead duo for the Big East games. The channel launches in the middle of August and has amassed a good amount of talent in the sports world (inclduing poaching the two greatest Canadian news anchor, Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole from TSN).
“I was fortunate to work at ESPN since its inception, and I’ll be forever grateful to all the talented, professional people who supported me along the way. I leave with nothing but terrific memories and friendships,” said Raftery. “Today, though, we turn the page. I’ve been associated with the Big East Conference since it began, and I feel the same excitement and anticipation now as I did way back then as the conference is re-born with FOX Sports. I’m really looking forward to being reunited with my former CBS partner, Gus Johnson, whose style I love and passion for college basketball is unmatched.”
Raftery’s quote is right on the money. The biggest news to come out of this is that Gus Johnson will be getting featured heavily on television once again. Johnson is one of the most exciting and most well liked analysts in all of college basketball and is almost on a god like level for a lot of hardcore college basketball fans.
According to Fox’s website, Fox Sports 1 will televise 100 Big East games next year starting on November 8th with the non-conference schedule. With the monopoly that ESPN has been trying to get on most televised sports, the creation of a new network like Fox Sports 1 will do great things for the broadcasting of events around the nation. It will also force ESPN to step its game up in order not to be out-classed by a new and upstart channel. Besides, any news of more televised college basketball has to be good news.
Even with this new job, Raftery will still be doing the NCAA tournament games on CBS in March.