One of the most widely recognized pieces of sports music of all time is the main broadcast theme for Fox Sports. Consult this YouTube link if you need to refresh your memory on this iconic music. Over the years, this music has become strongly associated with Fox’s live NFL football broadcasts, but Fox has since adopted the music as the primary live broadcast theme for their sports division as a whole.

Given that this year marks the 20th year on air for the music, and that we’re at the start of football season, this anniversary seemed like something worth celebrating and noting how it came to be. After all, nearly everyone has heard the music, but not many people could tell you much more about it or the man who produced it, Scott Schreer. Up until recently, neither could I. 

Scott kindly agreed to do a phone interview with me to help me capture some oral history on the this iconic music, how it came to be and what it’s since become. I recorded the call and have spilt it up into audio clips by topic below. For those who don't have time to listen, here are some quick facts about both Scott and the music that I was able to gather from my interview. Many thanks to Scott for taking the time to share this!

ABOUT THE MUSIC
Pitched during a job interview

At the time Fox was forming in the early 90’s, Scott’s friend and business contact, George Greenberg, was interviewing for an executive level position with the fledgling network. George asked Scott for some fresh music samples to help him present his vision at the interview, hence the piece was written and recorded.

Completed under a very tight deadline
Scott found out about the opportunity on a Friday, and he and his team of writers had to write, arrange, orchestrate and record the piece (using a live orchestra!) by Sunday of the same weekend. On Monday, they found out Fox loved it and wanted to proceed.

A blend of tunes
The version of music that we hear today as one piece of music was not initially written as such. Scott’s team developed multiple themes (in the same key and same approximate tempo) for the presentation, to be presented as options. Fox liked aspects of each, so they edited those portions into a single piece of music.

Groundbreaking for its genre
There was no other sports music that sounded like it at the time it came out. It built on the best elements of what had been done in the past, but was further enhanced by it’s driving rhythms and modern production. It was the perfect perfect fit for Fox’s bold new brand. (In one of the audio clips below, Scott reveals the secret behind the distinctive drum sound in the recording).

Global reach
The amount of people worldwide who have heard the theme over the years numbers in the billions.


ABOUT SCOTT
Musical background
His primary professional instrument is the drums, though he’s also played the piano since a young age. He also holds a degree in Music Theory & Composition from Long Island University. Scott first established himself professionally as a studio musician doing advertising music. At one point, he was writing and/or performing in 300+ commercials per year.

Love of baseball
Scott’s first love was not music, but playing baseball. He chose to pursue a career as a musician only when it became apparent that a pro baseball career was not in the offing. In poetic irony, Scott would later go on to write Fox’s broadcast theme for Major League Baseball.

Innovative entrepreneur
Currently, Scott is the CEO of TuneSat, an innovative technology company that allows artists and music publishers to track when and where their music is being used on TV and on the Internet.

Recent music projects
Scott just completed a major project producing the brand music for Fox’s new FS1 network.

Early musical inspiration
Seeing The Beatles’ perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show was Scott’s earliest major musical inspiration.

AUDIO CLIPS
Due to some unexpected technical issues I experienced while recording the call, the audio quality turned out less than ideal, but a special thanks goes out to Brian Cook at LogicProChicago for doing some engineering magic on it after the fact to help me get it to a listenable state. Anyhow, the clips are broken up by topic- enjoy!

 

About the Music

From doing commercials to landing the Fox deal (7:07) -

How the music took off (4:16)-

Reflections on 20th anniversary (3:15) -

The recording session (3:36) -

Secret behind the drum sound (2:37) -

Copycat music (1:28) -

About Scott

Scott’s background (3:34) - 

About TuneSat (3:51) -

Juggling TuneSat and music production (2:01) -

Musical interests and inspirations (5:52) -