National Sports Report
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2006)|
The program began in 1996, when FSN was launched, as Fox Sports News. The show aired twice a night, at 6 and 10 p.m. It was the national network's equivalent to SportsCenter. The tagline leading into all commercial breaks for the first year or so was "Fox Sports News rolls on."
By 1998, the show was renamed National Sports Report and the shows were cut to a half-hour each. The Sunday night program was briefly renamed The Keith Olbermann Evening News. The hour-long show was anchored by Olbermann, the former ESPN sportscaster, with Alex Flanagan as a reporter.
Kevin Frazier (now at Entertainment Tonight) was famous for refusing to say the name of tennis phenom Anna Kournikova on-air because she had never won a singles tournament. Instead, he used nicknames like "Miss Thang" or "From Russia With Love" (as in the James Bond movie). Frazier wanted to make a point that she was overrated and received too much publicity for her lack of talent.
On April 1, 2001, Olbermann reported that Michael Jordan had decided to come out of retirement and return to NBA basketball with the Washington Wizards. Although the story was presented as an April Fool's joke, Jordan would sign with the Wizards the following September.
Regional sports reports
By 2000, many markets paired the NSR with a series of "regional sports reports." In fact, all regions (except North) had their own reports in 2001, originating at the following studios:
- New York: New York
- Boston: New England
- Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh, Midwest
- Atlanta: South, Arizona
- Dallas: Southwest
- Chicago: Chicago, Bay Area, and Ohio
- Denver: Rocky Mountain
- Los Angeles: West & West 2 (now Prime Ticket)
- Seattle: Northwest, Detroit
The Southwest Sports Report was originally broadcast from two studios, with the other in Houston. This occurred because co-host Spencer Tillman apparently did not want to uproot his family from Houston.
None of the regional reports exist today, or hardly resemble the original report format. In 2002, Cablevision, which owns several FSN affiliates (those under their control are now under the Root Sports branding), removed them from the networks they owned at the time, including New York (now still owned by Cablevision as MSG Plus), Chicago (now defunct), Bay Area (now owned by Comcast as Comcast SportsNet Bay Area), and Ohio (now owned by Fox Sports Group directly) reports from the air. The New England Sports Report remains as a talk show called New England Sports Tonight since Comcast's acquisition of the network as Comcast SportsNet New England, though a separate news program called SportsNet Central has since launched. In many of the remaining markets, it has been replaced by FSN Live, though in most cases this show is exclusively a team post-game show rather than a regular program, with the team name replacing FSN, and news tickers mostly fulfill the news role for most FSN networks, along with promotions since 2013 guiding viewers to sister network Fox Sports 1's national sports news show (and direct successor to NSR), Fox Sports Live.