Fox Sports Very Close to Finalizing the Regis Show: Here Are 3 Former Athletes Very Close to Joining the Network [UPDATE]

Gary Payton #20 of the Seattle SuperSonics takes the ball to the basket during a game against the New York KnicksFox Sports has a little more than two months to go before rolling out its much-anticipated channel, Fox Sports 1 (August 19!), and the word on the street this week is three more former athletes are very close to signing deals with the network: Kirk Morrison, a former linebacker on the Raiders; Coy Wire, a former Atlanta Falcon currently with the Pac-12 network; and Gary Payton, the former point guard of the Seattle Sonics.

Payton, as I hear it, will have the largest presence of the three if a deal gets done (those inside and outside of Fox expect it to happen). Look for him on Fox Sports 1’s version of Sportscenter (the show Andy Roddick will be on).

The biggest rumor right now at Fox Sports is that the cast of the Regis Philbin show – which will go up against ESPN’s PTI daily – is nearly locked in. According to multiple sources, Fox all but cemented the 4-5 person cast this week. (I say ‘4-5 person’ because the way the show was described to me is that it’ll be like the View, with Regis in the Barbara Walters role, ie, a headliner for advertisers, but not on the show daily.) I’ve heard a lot of names connected to the show in recent weeks, and my guess is we’ll see a comedian, a former female athlete, and two former male athletes, or some combination thereof.

As usual, expect Fox to deliver a “latte” (H/T Richard Deitsch) to whatever media outlet they deem largest to make the official announcement.

I’m now off to spend my weekend trying to find out who is on the show. [If you know, email me: jmcintyre@thebiglead.com; anonymity assured.]

[UPDATE: Friday, 8:53 pm. Here’s what I’m hearing is 3/4 of the Regis Show lineup: Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal, former NFL player Trevor Pryce and comedian Michael Kosta.]

Related: Ronde Barber is Headed to Fox Sports
Related: Fox Sports 1 Heavily in Pursuit of Former NFL Player Trevor Pryce and ESPN Chicago’s Sarah Spain
Related: Donovan McNabb in Advanced Talks with Fox Sports 1 to Possibly Join Their Version of Sportscenter

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