Since Fox Sports 1 debuted, the conversation has not been the “when will FS1 challenge ESPN?” conversation they may have wanted, but more “Who’s #2? NBCSN or FS1?” The network has canceled some shows, and Rupert Murdoch gave an interview recently greatly pulling the reins on the network’s lofty initial expectations. All of the recent FS1 news did get me thinking, however…

Fox Sports 1 appears to be a network more built around daily programming that would befit a network televising sporting events every single night. While they often did during college basketball season, much of the key events on FS1 (MLB, college football and UEFA Champions League) happen during the afternoons. They still don’t have that traditional, staple primetime programming as its dotted with a variety of sports and special events.

NBCSN, on the other hand, has a couple of daily shows, but mostly does programming based around their main primetime partner (the NHL) and daytime partner (the EPL). They produce a lot of documentaries, Top 10 shows, and feature series on the histories of the sports they cover. Once hockey’s over for the night, the network is kind of over unless they have something special planned. The overnight and early morning hours on NBCSN are filled with paid programming and random things like the Grand Ole Opry.

The question that came to me while I clearly had nothing better to do: what if these two networks flipped their rights packages?

Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense, especially on the NBCSN to FS1 side?

FS1 would have more general sports programming leading into what would be their NHL coverage. Maybe Mike Francesa doesn’t make for a great hockey lead-in, but America’s Pregame would make sense leading into live coverage. The EPL would allow them to make another go with that property, and perhaps give Gus Johnson more chances at becoming a major soccer announcer (I know, aren’t you glad I thought of that?!?!). Plus, Jay and Dan following a hockey night on Fox Sports Live… too easy, right?

On the NBCSN side, I still think the NBC brand is made for baseball, so the ability to have Costas call MLB on Saturday afternoons just seems perfect. Big East college basketball feels weirdly like an NBC sport too, and UEFA Champions League would likely be covered just as well as their EPL brand. Plus, NBCSN doesn’t really do studio shows beyond NFL and NASCAR, which would feel more relevant with college football programming, and both networks have NASCAR starting next year anyway.

This is a silly idea that is purely the TV version of armchair quarterbacking, but I think it has some truth in there. Based on their programming slates, you’d think NBCSN would be more in need of a nightly sports show like Fox Sports Live. And you’d think Fox would be more into sporadic documentary programming and super-serving their current properties.

However, for now, they are what they are and no amount of far-fetched articles by bored TV writers will change that.

About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.