If Keith Olbermann wants to talk about politics on his upcoming nightly talker on ESPN2, he will. But, he says, it has to make sense first. “I’m not intending to talk about politics, certainly not in the partisan sense and not in the sense I have in the last ten years of work that I’ve done,” he said today during the first day of the Television Critics Association press tour, referring to his time on his MSNBC program Countdown. But, he admitted, “it’s a sports show and there will be occasions in which…we will have to talk about [it].”
Olberman, who recently settled a legal battle with Al Gore’s Current TV after he was fired from the network, also shot down reports that his contract included any limits on content and confirmed that that there will be no “pop culture segments.” ”I’ve done and enjoyed and own the work I did in politics and news, but this is not what this is. I wanted to go back into sports,” he said.
So what can people expect from his program, which marks the host’s return to ESPN almost two decades after he last hosted SportsCenter with Dan Patrick? “It will be a sports cast with my stamp on it,” he said. Among the segments will be one called “The Worst Person in the Sports World,” a spin on his Worst Person in the World segments, a staple on Countdown, which aired from 2003-11. “I think people enjoyed my willingness to stick my neck out,” he said.
Olbermann premieres on ESPN2 on Aug. 26.