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Finding the Next Level in Viewer Engagement

JOHN ENTZ has seen the sports viewing experience change drastically
over the past several years. “The ‘second screen’ [experience] is not
really in the future anymore,” says Entz. “I think it’s now.”

Since returning to Fox Sports from MLB Network—which he helped
launch in 2008—Entz has tirelessly worked to keep viewers engaged
in today’s 140-character world, noting that Twitter and Facebook have
made sports viewing a much more interactive experience.

Entz oversees all studio and event production for the networks and
entities within the Fox Sports Media Group. He is only the fifth executive
producer in Fox Sports’ 18-year history.

Using his connections from his three years at MLB Network, Entz revamped Fox’s Saturday MLB pregame
show into a collaboration between the two networks that broadcasts live from MLB Network’s state-of-theart
studio in Secaucus, N.J.

Entz says that helping Fox with its pregame show seemed a win-win from day one. “One of the things
that came up a lot was that MLB Network would love to help out and give Fox broadcast the vehicle to
give them a pregame show,” he says.

MLB Network was the second network Entz helped get off the ground; in 1996, he was a member of
the team that launched Fox Sports Network. Not that the experience made him such a veteran the second
time around. “It was incredibly exciting, but everybody was a nervous wreck,” says Entz about those early
days at MLB Network.

Among other things, Fox will help drive viewer engagement next month during the MLB All-Star Game.
For the first time, the players will be “socially active” with fans before the big game and even after they come
out of the lineup. “It’s become fairly ubiquitous to put up a player’s Twitter handle and tweet questions and
answer them on the air,” says Entz, who adds that this practice, which was done during last year’s Home
Run Derby, was a huge success, boosting players’ follower accounts by 17%.

“People want to engage and want to have a conversation as they’re watching an event,” says Entz. “You
don’t want to wait and talk at the watercooler the next day—that’s in the past.”