Fox Sports personality Charissa Thompson announced Wednesday night on Instagram that she has been tabbed as the new host of NFL Films Presents, the acclaimed highlight and interview show that is produced by NFL films but airs on FS1.
The show was previously fronted by Katie Nolan, who left Fox for ESPN last fall.
Very excited to be working with #nflfilms @nflfilms & NFL Presents. I’ll be sitting down with a number of different players & coaches over the next few months to talk about life on & off the football field. Stay tuned for more details. Until then.. thank you Kyle Williams for chatting today, you’re all class! The @buffalobills are lucky to have you 🏈
Thompson is a sensible choice for NFL Films Presents, as a versatile television personality with experience as both a host and reporter in numerous formats. She currently hosts Fox NFL Kickoff, the network’s Sunday-morning pregame show, giving her ample football bona fides as well.
The big question for NFL Films Presents remains how much Fox will bother to promote it. The network has aired the show since 2014, experimenting with Joe Buck as host as well as with a host-free format before settling on Nolan, but has rarely aired promos for it or shared clips on social media. When Nolan was first named host, our Ben Koo wondered why Fox didn’t play up the announcement more.
I get the show is not exactly doing monster ratings but not much is on FS1. The show and the news of a new host wasn’t even tweet worthy. So thinking about this a bit… FS1 cares enough about NFL Films Presents and Katie Nolan to pair them up to cross pollinate audiences a bit hoping to build awareness for both Nolan and Presents, but they don’t care enough to actually announce the development?
It almost makes me think that last year without a host wasn’t an actual decision but Fox going “Oh crap. We forgot about that. Can you just do without one this year again?”
NFL Films social accounts did mention that Nolan was the new host but it wasn’t 100% clear if that would be for the entire season or just a one off. The FS1 social team didn’t feel compelled to promote the show’s season debut as well as one of the network’s most popular personalities now hosting the show seems really odd given the nominal time it takes to craft a tweet or status update.
Last year, FS1’s social-media feeds entirely ignored NFL Films Presents, perhaps due to Nolan’s then-uncertain status at the network. In the wake of Jamie Horowitz’s infamous presentation about building up Fox’s brands and not those of other companies, it seemed that maybe Fox’s disinterest in NFL Films Presents owed to the fact it was branded as something other than a Fox show.
Will the network’s apparent ambivalence to NFL Films Presents change with Horowitz gone and a host who remains in good standing with her bosses? We’ll find out soon enough.