NBA insider Chris Broussard will leave ESPN for Fox Sports 1 in time for the start of the NBA season, Sporting Nation’s Michael McCarthy reported on Friday.
Broussard has been at ESPN since 2004, and regularly appears on SportsCenter and on the sideline of NBA games. Although he is a well-sourced within the NBA world, recently he has become better known for his controversies.
During the DeAndre Jordan free agency frenzy of 2015, Broussard and Mark Cuban got into a public spat when Broussard reported that Cuban was frantically driving around Houston trying to get in touch with Jordan, which Cuban vociferously denied. Before that, Broussard, who is deeply religious, took heat for anti-gay comments he made after former NBA player Jason Collins announced he was gay.
Sports personalities change networks all the time. What’s noteworthy about Broussard’s reported move is that he is the latest in a series of ESPN personalities to leave the Worldwide Leader for FS1. Since former-ESPN executive Jamie Horowitz took over at the helm of Fs1’s programming, Skip Bayless, Jason Whitlock, Colin Cowherd, and now Broussard have all moved to Fox Sports.
Horowitz is best known for creating the “embrace debate” programming that has been polarizing among ESPN viewers over the past years. He was the mastermind behind “First Take,” and at Fox Sports has tried to replicate similar debate-minded shows. Whitlock and Cowherd co-host “Speak For Yourself”, while Bayless and Shannon Sharpe square off in “Undisputed”.
Although Horowitz has said explicitly that his goal is to challenge ESPN, the ratings on these new shows have not yet done that.
Broussard is expected to team up with FS1 basketball analyst Jim Jackson. It is hard to imagine that Broussard and Jackson will challenge ESPN’s NBA coverage, especially because unlike ESPN Fox does not own the broadcasting rights to any NBA games. Still, Broussard does have over a million followers on Twitter and is good for several scoops per season.
“We attempted to re-sign Chris and want to thank him for his contributions to our NBA coverage and wish him the best,” ESPN said in a statement provided to Business Insider. “We have an impressive array of NBA voices who will continue to help make our NBA coverage thrive.”
Fox Sports was not immediately available for comment.