Legendary tennis star Andy Roddick has signed a deal with upstart television cable station Fox Sports 1 which will see Roddick hosting the network's signature sports news series (think ESPN's SportsCenter) Fox Sports Live.
Fox Sports co-president and COO Eric Shanks announced the news today, alongside executive vice president Scott Ackerson.
“It is very rare that you find an exceptional athlete who can step off the field or in this case the court, who has the potential to be as equally talented in an on-air role,” said Ackerson. “Andy is not only an expert tennis analyst, but his knowledge, candor and opinions on all sports are equally as impressive, and that makes him a unique fit for what we have in mind for Fox Sports Live.”
For Fox Sports 1, this is a huge hire. The channel is gearing up to go head-to-head with ESPN when it launches this August 17. Roddick retired from tennis last summer following the U.S. Open.
Under this new deal, he will co-host with Charissa Thompson, who left ESPN for the new program. Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole are also attached to the program, which will air from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m Monday through Friday.
“I was a tennis player for a long time, but I’ve been a sports fan a lot longer than that,” said Roddick. “It has always been a dream of mine to pursue an opportunity like this after my playing career, and I am incredibly grateful to Eric, Scott and the entire Fox Sports 1 team for helping make this dream a reality. I can’t wait to get started."