Crimson Media Watch: The Fox Sports Go App

MOST COUGFANS WILL be watching Saturday night's WSU-Oregon game from their couch. But some will be out and about, cursing the fact they can't watch the Fox Sports 1 broadcast on their mobile device. Well, actually, if you're one of a select few, you can…

But be prepared, it could be an exercise in frustration and on multiple fronts. Fox Sports 1 has quietly – very, very quietly – launched their mobile app, Fox Sports Go. How soft a launch? Fox declined comment when asked by the media about the app's launch when it suddenly showed up in the wild about 10 days ago.

Of particular note: The app is available in the Apple Store only -- there is no Android version yet.

Plus, only Apple users who also have authenticated TV service through either Comcast, U-Verse, Optimum, Suddenlink, WOW! or Midcontinent Communications can use it. Months ago, when Fox announced their new Fox Sports 1 channel, they said the app's launch would coincide with the network's debut. But in August, they delayed the app, saying they wanted to get all the bugs out. Now, halfway through the college football season, the softest of soft launches has occurred.

Add it all up and it indicates the Fox Sports Go App is still not at all ready for prime time. But for any CougFan tech-types out there who decide to give it a go – who have an Apple device and one of those TV providers - let us know how it worked for you and in as much detail as you wish to convey.

IT WAS TIRESOME way back in March when ESPN and Fox Sports 1 started throwing barbs at one another. It's even more annoying as it continues. Both have even used their on-air personalities to try and mock one another, on everything from ratings to professionalism. Here's a thought. Why not just do excellent work and let that speak for itself?

I know, I know. That's kooky talk. In today's broadcasting climate, breathless self-promotion and attacking the competition across multiple platforms is omnipresent. Still, as the tedious bickering continues on its month-long slog, both networks oh-so-richly deserve to have viewers go all Skyler White on them.

About those ratings… the numbers for Fox College Saturday on Fox Sports 1 continue to prove just how big the mountain of work is that lies ahead. The Oct. 5 show drew 80,000 viewers, SI's Richard Deitsch and others report while ESPN's CollegeGameDay drew 1.68 million.

ON THE CALL Saturday night for the WSU-Oregon game on FS-1: Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington and Ryan Nece. Harrington of course is a former Duck quarterback. I wrote back in September that Harrington during a Pac-12 game offered fantastic insights at times but... that they were overshadowed by Harrington's overly excited, non-stop commentary. Worse, he chose to act as an apologist for the officials despite demonstrable, clear and blatant errors made by the Pac-12 officiating crew.

Here's to hoping Harrington over the past month has made some adjustments. Because he's one of the few who has actually shown he has the tools to become one of the best analysts out there. He just needs to pull them out of the shed.

DESPITE THE BEST EFFORTS of KJR radio personality Dave Mahler, the Cougar flags flew high on Gameday last week. It was equal parts hilarious and sad in listening to Mahler wildly contradict himself over a days-long period, making things worse with his subsequent on-air and twitter comments on his original tweet. (For any who missed it, Mahler extended a $100 offer to anyone who would tear down the Cougar flag.)

The radio station's brass, it would seem likely, forced Mahler to eventually apologize online (albeit tepidly) and try to walk it all back. I went and looked again this morning for that pseudo-apology plus his original tweet in order to link them here but couldn't find them, making me wonder if they'd been taken down.

Left unanswered by it all is what would have happened if Mahler at the very start had just admitted he made a mistake, apologized and then moved on. Any publicity or ratings gained was going to be short-term anyway, though I think it might be giving Mr. Mahler too much credit to assume that was anywhere in his original thought process. This is a guy, after all, who actually wants people to call him "Softy."

SPEAKING OF GAMEDAY, Lane Kiffin showed up. Ostensibly, he was there to be interviewed about his firing from USC but what it was really about was Kiffin auditioning for a broadcasting role in between coaching jobs. (Let's be honest, someone is going to hire him again to run their football program. It will only end in tears, but someone is going to hire him again.)

I was expecting Kiffin to be a broadcasting train wreck on Gameday but he wasn't half bad – there's at least some potential there. He also took pains to try and hit all the right notes, heaping praise on Pat Haden and all things USC. Sure, I didn't believe any of what he was saying about Haden or USC, but it's the right move if you want to try and land a new coaching job.

What was most disappointing about the Kiffin appearance was how ESPN took the easy way out. They cleared the set and made sure Paul Finebaum was nowhere around when Kiffin was on. Finebaum, who has made a broadcasting empire out of shamelessly appealing to the lowest denominator, said just hours after Kiffin was fired that he was the "Miley Cyrus of College Football," and that Kiffin "has very little talent."

Being opinionated is not only good, it's required. But Finebaum's and ESPN's version of ring and run on Saturday was something else entirely. Viewers deserve better. (By the way, Finebaum is a Tennessee graduate. Three months after Kiffin had been hired at Tennessee, Finebaum called Kiffin a "buffoon" and lobbied for Kiffin to be fired immediately and before he had coached his first game.)

PBS' FRONTLINE RECENTLY AIRED "League of a Denial: The Concussion Crisis" – the documentary ESPN suddenly ran full speed away from after the NFL allegedly expressed its displeasure to the Worldwide Leader's involvement.

The documentary's focus is on the NFL but it's just a short walk from the potentially significant ramifications for college football. Above all, it's a compelling view, no matter what your viewpoint is going in. If you missed it, you can watch online: CLICK HERE

The Rod Gilmore Dead Horse Beat
Clemson 24, Boston College 14; (ESPN2)

"The game plan for Boston College: Punch Clemson in the mouth."
• 1st quarter, 10:49

"The idea is to really go with their identity, be physical and really punch Clemson as much as they can."
• 1st quarter, 10:39

"We talked about Boston College wanting to hit Clemson in the mouth.."
• 1st quarter, 5:34

" The formula today for Boston College is to be physical and to punch Clemson.."
• 2nd quarter, 13:36

"Boston College…they've done a good job of being physical and punching Clemson in the mouth.."
• 2nd quarter, 6:03

There's some kind of joke to be made here involving Messrs. Gilmore and Mahler, a $100 bounty and a punch in the mouth... Nah.

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