Fox Sports has signed longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Bill Raferty to call Big East basketball for Fox Sports 1.
The move will reunite Raferty with Gus Johnson, who will serve as FS1's main play-by-play announcer. The two used to call games together when Johnson was still at CBS. Raftery will continue in his role with CBS as a lead analyst for men's basketball, including the NCAA tournament.
"Adding a renowned, popular veteran like Bill Raftery to a family of announcers at Fox Sports that already includes many of sports television's biggest names is an incredible coup," said John Entz, Fox Sports' executive VP and executive producer. "More importantly, in teaming Bill with Gus, we have reunited the most energized, entertaining college basketball broadcast team ever, and we can't wait for them to work their first game."
In March, Fox signed a 12-year deal with the Big East that will put over 100 games on Fox Sports 1, which launches Aug. 17.
"I've been associated with the Big East Conference since it began, and I feel the same excitement and anticipation now as I did way back then as the conference is re-born with Fox Sports," said Raferty. "I'm really looking forward to being reunited with my former CBS partner, Gus Johnson, whose style I love and passion for college basketball is unmatched."
The Big East is relaunching this fall as a new, basketball-centric conference with the seven Catholic schools from the old conference, as well as Creighton, Xavier and Butler. The old conference was renamed the American Athletic Conference after the split.
"We completely understand his interest in remaining associated with the core group of schools that he's been part of for 30+ year," said an ESPN spokesperson. "We wish him the absolute best in his next chapter and thank him for his incredible contributions to ESPN."
Another ESPN-er Charissa Thompson is expected to come over to Fox to coanchor its flagship news and highlights program Fox Sports Live with former Tennis star Andy Roddick.