News & Press

October 24, 2018

New Co-Hosts Join ‘The Titan Games’


McHugh and Mendez Will Serve as Commentators While Champion Joins as Field Reporter

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 24th, 2018 – Three seasoned sport commentators join “The Titan Games,” the highly anticipated competition series from Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia with Johnson also serving as host. Veteran NBC Sports host Liam McHugh and well-known esports reporter Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez will serve as commentators, while skilled sports broadcaster Cari Champion takes on the role of field reporter.

“The Titan Games,” which will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyday people willing to take on its physical and mental challenges, will premiere Wednesday, January 2 at 9pm PT/ET on NBC.

McHugh, Mendez and Champion join the 10-episode series from Universal Television Alternative Studio, A. Smith and Co. Productions and Seven Bucks Productions. McHugh and Mendez will be paired in the skybox where they will provide in-depth analysis on the intense action and excitement, highlighting the physicality of each challenge and the mental resilience needed to succeed. From the floor of the electrifying arena, Champion will provide exclusive interviews that will unveil the heart, grit and intellect of each contender.

Inspired by Johnson’s desire to motivate global audiences to reach their potential for greatness, this unparalleled new athletic competition gives men and women across the country the opportunity to step inside the Titan arena and achieve the impossible. Competitors will push their bodies to the limit by battling opponents in unforgiving head-to-head challenges. “The Titan Games” will not only test the competitors’ physical strength, but also their mental and emotional fortitude. Throughout this uplifting series, hard work and determination will be rewarded and a new breed of heroes will emerge. Those who can withstand the challenge have the chance to become a Titan and win a grand prize of $100,000.

Liam McHugh currently serves as a host on some of NBC Sports’ most high-profile properties and events, including “Football Night in America,” the NHL, Notre Dame football and the Olympics.

Since 2010, McHugh has served as the lead studio host for “NHL Live,” the pre- and post-game studio show that airs prior to and after NHL telecasts throughout the regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.. In August 2018, McHugh was named on-site host for “Football Night in America,” the most-watched sports studio show, which leads into “Sunday Night Football,” primetime television’s No. 1 show. McHugh also hosts NBC’s Notre Dame football coverage, including the pre-game show “Countdown to Kickoff.”

In addition, McHugh served as co-host of NBC’s Super Bowl LII pre-game show, and contributed to NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He also contributed to NBC and NBCSN’s coverage leading up to Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLIX.

Mendez comes from a tenured history in esports. His work and accomplishments can be seen across the entire industry. He is a desk host for Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League and previously worked with Epic Games’ “Fortnite Battle Royale,” Cheddar TV, TBS’s ELEAGUE, Major League Gaming (MLG), Psyonix’s Rocket League Championship Series, 343 Industries’s Halo Championship Series and Electronic Arts’ “Battlefield” series. Outside of esports, Mendez also commentated CEO X New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Before becoming a household name in esports, Mendez, a Bronx, N.Y., native, was a full-time social worker who competed in various action video games such as “Halo,” “Call of Duty” and “Gears of War” in his free time. However, family is a focal point for Mendez and he eventually decided to step back from esports competition to focus on his marriage and job. He used this time to start making online content, as well as build up his local Bronx gaming community.

Mendez may have ended his time as a competitor, but he was nowhere near done with esports. Mendez received an offer a couple months later from MLG that would set him on his course to becoming one of the most sought-after talents in esports. Hired as a commentator for a small tournament, Mendez rose to the occasion when he was called upon unexpectedly to commentate the Call of Duty national championship at the last minute. Esports community reception was instantaneous, and it has been onward and upward ever since.

In September 2018, Cari Champion returned to ESPN’s flagship daily sports news studio show, “SportsCenter,” to co-anchor the noon ET “Coast to Coast” edition from Los Angeles, along with Connecticut-based David Lloyd. Champion was originally named “SportsCenter” anchor in July 2015, and in February 2016 was named co-anchor for “SportsCenter Coast to Coast.” The show came to a close in March 2018, but has since been revived.

Prior to her most recent role on “SportsCenter,” she served as co-host of “SportsNation,” ESPN’s freewheeling and energetic afternoon show. Champion joined LZ Granderson and numerous guests to discuss the day’s hottest and weirdest sports topics in 30-minute episodes.

In addition to her role at “SportsCenter,” Champion hosts a weekly podcast with espnW, “Be Honest with Cari Champion,” where she takes an honest look at the world of sports and pop culture with the help of outspoken guests.

“The Titan Games” is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio and Seven Bucks Productions. Dwayne Johnson, Arthur Smith, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Toby Gorman will executive produce.


Launched in 2016, Universal Television Alternative Studio is a leading supplier of hit unscripted content and alternative formats, and creates, develops and produces a diverse slate of original series domestically and internationally. The studio’s most recent breakout hit is “Making It,” from executive producers Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, and the #1 new series of 2017, “World of Dance,” starring and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. Additionally, the studio is responsible for the high-stakes game show “The Wall,” which has been sold into 27 territories internationally and has become the highest-rated game show in multiple territories around the world. The hit series “Better Late Than Never” ranked as the #1 new summer series of 2016 and returned this year for season two with more fun, comedy and adventure. Hosted by Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night” has been remade across 19 territories with the UK being the 20th and will begin production on its sixth season in 2018. This year the studio debuted “In Search Of” with Zachary Quinto for History. Upcoming series will include NBC’s athletic competition show “The Titan Games,” starring and executive produced by Dwayne Johnson and the songwriting competition series “Songland” from executive producers Adam Levine, Dave Stewart and Audrey Morrisey. Universal Television Alternative Studio is a division of NBCUniversal.


Co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, Seven Bucks Productions is a multi-platform production company pioneering original content for television, film, emerging technologies, and digital networks. Crossing all entertainment verticals, Seven Bucks Productions creates innovative content rooted in authenticity, strong storytelling, and passion.

Seven Bucks Productions has an ever-expanding slate including tent-pole movies such as Disney’s Jungle Cruise, Universal’s Hobbs and Shaw, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Legendary’s Skyscraper, New Line’s Rampage, Universal’s Red Notice and Warner Brothers The King. The company also produces original television programming including HBO’s “Ballers,” NBC’s “The Titan Games,” BET’s “Finding Justice,” Paramount Network’s “Rock the Troops” and HBO Documentary Films’ “Rock and a Hard Place.”


A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. The company has produced more than 4,000 hours of award-winning programming – with budgets totaling well over one billion dollars across more than 47 broadcast and cable networks. Current productions include “Hell’s Kitchen,” “American Ninja Warrior,” “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge,” “Unsung,” “Inside the Label,” “American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja,” “Scijinks,” “The Dunk King,” “The Game of Dating” and “That Awkward Game Show.” Past hits include “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” “Full Throttle Saloon,” “Wizard Wars,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “UFC Countdown,” “Joe Rogan Questions Everything,” “Acting Out,” “Paradise Hotel,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” “The Swan,” “Trading Spaces,” “Celebrity Duets,” “Pros vs. Joes,” “Skating with Celebrities,” and many others.

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