Fox: Our sports network bows in August
Fox Sports 1 will carry many of the same sports as parent
March 6, 2013
Fox has finally confirmed the worst-kept secret in television.
It is launching a new sports network this summer, which will be available in 90 million households, making it the biggest sports cable premiere ever.
In fact, Fox Sports 1 will be one of the largest network launches ever.
It will bow on Aug. 17 and will include 5,000 hours of live event coverage, news and original programming each year. It is taking the place of Speed, the racing-focused network that is in 81 million households.
Randy Freer and Eric Shanks will be co-presidents and co-chief operating officers of the new effort.
Fox Sports Media Group has been coy about challenging ESPN, the longtime dominant sports network, and for good reason.
While there are many other sports networks, including the CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network as well as channels owned by individual conferences and pro leagues such as Big Ten Network and NFL Network, they draw a fraction of the audience of ESPN.
ESPN has the viewership and the sports packages, with rights to every major sport save hockey and special events like the Bowl Championship Series and Wimbledon.
But FS1 will certainly bring an impressive roster. It arguably has a better chance than any of the current sports nets, including the CBS and NBC channels, to draw eyeballs from ESPN.
FS1 has been built on seven core partnerships: Major League Baseball, college football, college basketball, NASCAR, NFL, UFC and soccer.
Fox has rights to all of them, and it’s expected to get as many of those events on the air as it can to help propel the channel at launch.
The first day of programming, for example, will include a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and a UFC event.
In 2014, when Fox’s latest MLB deal kicks in, FS1 will get rights to regular-season as well as post-season games.
And FS1 will launch a daily football news show in January in conjunction with Fox carrying the 2014 Super Bowl.
Indeed, Fox has been squirreling away rights deals with an eye to launching the network. The company has rights to the 2018 and 2022 men’s World Cup, which will air games on FS1.
FS1 executives said today that they hope to gain NBA rights in the future and will bid if the NFL puts together another weeknight package of games.
FS1 will air a nightly live talk show, “Rush Hour,” hosted by Regis Philbin, at 5 p.m. “Fox Football Daily” will follow at 6 p.m. each weekday, an extension of the popular “Fox NFL Sunday.”
FSMG refused to comment today on speculation that it is also readying a second sports channel, Fox Sports 2, which would take the place of Fuel, another FSMG property.
Weekend TV: Can anyone beat the UConn women?
Putting a pricetag on ad fraud: $16.4 billion
CBS renews a slew of shows, with a few missing
‘Empire’ rises slightly in its return to lift Fox to first
TV programming blog: All the cancellations and renewals
Well now: Mobile usage is even bigger than you think
Surprise: There’s one area where TV viewing is soaring
CBS, the daytime leader, leads Daytime Emmy nominations
Whoa: Almost a third of Millennials cut the cord
Media Life’s Digital Media Transparency Initiative
With old NCAA favorites gone, new ones emerge
World Baseball Classic ratings looking strong
Univision tops week, Telemundo claims top show
- Arun Kumar becomes chief data and marketing tech officer at IPG
- Jenny Campbell rises to managing director at 72andSunny
- Adam Crandall becomes director of strategy at mono
- Mark Wildman rises to EVP of partnerships at Westwood One
- Kevin Craig rises to SVP of newspaper relations at AMG/Parade
- Bill Corvalan becomes VP of West Coast partnerships at AllOver Media
- Richard Just becomes editor at The Washington Post Magazine
- Gemma Lawson rises to VP and design director at Nickelodeon
- Ashley Judd joins Epix' 'Berlin Station'
- Former NBC ad sales executive Robert Blackmore dies at age 90
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top-rated movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This month’s digital traffic data: December 2016
Ad sales rep for a digital-only magazine
Freelance media planner/buyer available for all markets
Wanted: Media buyer in Philadelphia
Paid social media planner wanted in Detroit
Opening for a media planner at a top OOH agency