Los Angeles, CA & Chicago, IL – May 12, 2011 – The voice renowned for March Madness buzzer-beaters is now the voice of fall’s gridiron glory and more as FOX Sports Media Group has named Gus Johnson lead play-by-play announcer for its college football coverage and men’s basketball on the Big Ten Network. He will team with FOX Sports football analyst Charles Davis to form the Group’s lead college football announce team. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Executive Producer and Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group, Eric Shanks.
This season, Johnson and Davis call Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 regular-season games on FX, as well as a pair of games for Big Ten Network, one of FOX’s two conference football championship games and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. In 2012, they’ll call FOX’s regular-season over-the-air broadcast schedule, culled primarily from the network’s recently completed rights agreement with the Pac-12, as well as the aforementioned postseason assignments. In addition, Johnson also continues as the lead play-by-play voice for college basketball on Big Ten Network, will call FOX’s Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament games come 2013 and select NFL on FOX broadcasts following the college football season this year.
“We are thrilled to have one of the most dynamic play-by-play announcers working today join us at FOX, and team him with someone we believe to be one of the brightest, most astute college football analysts in the country,” said Shanks. “Gus’ energy, enthusiasm and passion are evident in every game he broadcasts, and Charles is one of the most respected, knowledgeable and hard-working analysts in all of football, meticulous in his preparation and concise in his delivery. We can’t wait for college football fans to see just how terrific a team this can be.”
“Big Ten Network viewers have been overwhelming in their support of Gus Johnson,” added Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman. “Now they get to enjoy more Gus than ever before, as BTN expects to double his number of basketball games as a result of his new deal with FOX.”
Over the years, Johnson has developed a cult-like following among college hoops fans during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and more recently for men’s basketball on Big Ten Network, mainly for his use of his signature phrases including “Oh my goodness!”, “Rise and fire… Count it!”, “From the parking lot!”, “And the Runner….Bang!”, “Pure!”, “BAM!”, “Cold-Blooded!”, and “HA-HAAA!”
“Ahhhhhh! I am beyond excited to join the FOX Sports family today,” said Johnson. “Being able to call play-by-play for the nation’s premier collegiate football conferences like the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 is a tremendous honor and I can’t wait to get started! Is it August yet?”
Johnson, no stranger to the FOX Sports Media Group having called men’s hoops for Big Ten Network the last three season, joins FOX full-time after serving as a play-by-play announcer at CBS Sports since 1995. At CBS, Johnson was a play-by-play voice for the network’s college basketball coverage including NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament broadcasts and provided play-by-play for the NFL on CBS since 1998. Johnson’s credits at CBS Sports also include play-by-play for college football, track & field, boxing, the Hambletonian, and bobsled and luge at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. He also served as host of CBS’s At the Half and Sportsdesk programs.
In 2009, he was named play-by-play announcer for Showtime Championship Boxing. In addition, he served as play-by-play announcer for CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights and is a practicing martial artist who has studied Kung Fu and boxing, and continues studying Jiu-Jitsu.
While with Madison Square Garden, Johnson provided radio play-by-play for New York Knicks games and television play-by-play for the New York Liberty. He served as anchor and reporter for MSGN’s SportsDesk and worked the New York City Golden Gloves Tournament. He also served as host of AT&T Yankees Scorecard and New York Rangers and Knicks GameNight. In addition, Johnson has called play-by-play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Big East Network, college basketball on ESPN and the Canadian Football League on ESPN2.
Davis, a former University of Tennessee cornerback, was lead BCS on FOX analyst from 2007 to 2010. In 2009 he made his NFL on FOX debut, and has teamed with Dick Stockton the last two seasons. Davis also teamed with Thom Brennaman to call Big Ten Network games in 2007-08. He is also an analyst on NFL Network’s College Football Now, Path to the Draft, and NFL Total Access.
Prior to joining FOX and BTN, Davis worked five seasons as lead analyst for TBS’s college football coverage of the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences. Davis also served as a sideline reporter for Jefferson Pilot’s SEC Football Game of the Week in 2000 and 2001, as well as host of SEC Football Today pre-game show and SEC-TV halftime reports on CBS.
Davis’ other football assignments include analyst for the NFL Network’s broadcasts of the Texas Bowl and Under Armour Senior Bowl.
About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports media assets. Built with brands that are capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FSMG now includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FSN, which reaches over 85 million homes through more than two dozen owned and affiliated regional sports networks; FSN’s affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; FOX Soccer Channel and FOX Soccer Plus; FUEL TV; and FOX College Sports. In addition, FSMG also includes FOX Sports Interactive Media, which comprises www.FOXSports.com on MSN, whatifsports.com and scout.com, reaching over 27 million unique visitors monthly. Also included are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses FOX Deportes, Big Ten Network and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network and FOX Sports Skybox restaurants.
Dan Bell/FSMG – 310/369-6326
Elizabeth Conlisk/BTN – 614/425-0006