The versatile Rob Stone, who was part of the soccer team at ESPN, has made the move to Fox where he will serve as the networks lead host. He will make his debut as the host on the network's live coverage of Arsenal against Manchester United game, which will air live 10:30 a.m. January 22 prior to the NFC Championship Game. It will mark the first-ever live Barclay’s Premier League match on U.S. broadcast television.
Stone will host all key soccer broadcasts on Fox, FX and Fox Soccer, becoming the network’s primary soccer anchor. He will host FOX Soccer’s signature studio programs including Goals on Sunday which focuses on Premier League, Italy's Serie A and UEFA Champions League action and Match Day, two live studio shows bridging the network's Saturday morning Premier League matches.
The soccer community is a huge fan of Stone’s work. As he was leaving his Tampa home for the Fox studios in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to speak to him about his new job.
JW: What was the reason for the jump from ESPN to Fox?
Stone: It was not easy because ESPN was like family to me. But it is clear to any soccer fan that Fox has become the home to the world’s best soccer. Their commitment to covering the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and of course the World Cup 2018 and 2022 is amazing.
I am also looking forward to working with my friend Eric Wynalda (Fox lead studio analyst). He is an insightful and entertaining man who knows his soccer. There is no doubt American’s love quality soccer and Fox proves that with their extensive coverage of the top leagues in the world and I am honored and excited to be a part of it.
JW: Talk about your new role.
Stone: It really is a dream job for me because I hit the ground running with the Arsenal against Manchester United game on the 22nd followed by studio coverage of The Game Before the Game featuring Chelsea and Manchester United, live from Stamford Bridge on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5.
Then later in the month I will begin anchoring FOX Soccer’s UEFA Champions League coverage beginning with the round of 16 on the 14th. That leads into FOX Soccer and FX coverage of the UEFA Champions League semifinals and FOX Sports’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final this spring. So, that is a full slate right off the bat.