The Roku Channel is getting into sports-talk programming. Roku announced Tuesday it will stream the daily “Rich Eisen Show” starting in September.
Eisen’s show moves from NBC’s Peacock, which has been its home since 2020. Eisen leaves behind Dan Patrick, Mike Florio, and former Jemele Hill sidekick Michael Smith on Peacock.
DirectTV originally produced the “Rich Eisen Show” on the Audience Network until it ceased operations in May 2020. Eisen briefly aired his program on B/R Live and YouTube before moving to Peacock.
Roku will try to brand itself as a destination for talk programming as it expands its presence in sports this fall. The Roku Channel has teamed up with Paramount+ to carry NFL games that air on CBS Sports.
Roku also offers live sports content in partnership with niche linear channels such as Stadium, Fubo Sports, and Real Madrid TV. The streaming service has a recorded total of 63.1 million active accounts.
While Roku hopes the Rich Eisen Show can ingratiate daily sports viewers with the service, the relevancy and success of his show will remain tied to his social channels.
The home base for a sports show has become merely a hub to distribute content elsewhere. Much of the reaction and consumption now stems not from the live airing but from repurposed clips online.
“The Herd with Colin Cowherd” is arguably the most newsworthy sports show on-air, with most of its viewers coming from a combination of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter clips.
Cowherd drums up reactions from fans and critics who don’t tune into his television or radio airings. The same can be said of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.
Moreover, Pat McAfee makes $30 million a year and his show airs on YouTube, independent from a media company.
The oversaturation of streaming and television options has made YouTube the most accessible viewing route.
Westwood One will continue to carry the “Rich Eisen Show” on radio affiliates.