Biggest sports network launch in history, Fox says
Fox Sports 1 will launch Aug. 17 in 90 million homes, Fox announced Tuesday, calling it the largest sports network launch in history.
The network will feature sports including college football and basketball, Major League Baseball, soccer, UFC, and Nascar. In its first year it plans to air 4,800 hours of games, news and other programming, as well as daily appearances by Terry Bradshaw, who is famous for his commentary, and Regis Philbin, who is not.
The network has been long expected as Fox tries to cut into ESPN's dominance of sports coverage.
FOX Sports Media Group co-presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks made the announcements, which has been long-expected.
“Our ‘secret,’ admittedly a very poorly kept one, is now revealed,” said Eric Shanks, who is the co-president of FOX Sports Media Group with Randy Freer. “Fans are ready for an alternative to the establishment, and our goal for FS1 is to provide the best in-game experience possible, complemented by informative news, entertaining studio shows and provocative original programming.”
Aug. 17, a Saturday, will feature live events including a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and “UFC on FS1 1” in prime time.
FSMG’s new rights agreement with MLB takes effect in 2014, which will add regular and postseason games to the schedule.
“As a company we haven’t been afraid to innovate and take well-calculated risks,” said Freer. “We’ve devoted significant resources over the last few years to acquire and/or extend multi-platform rights with a wide variety of leagues and governing bodies well into the next decade, enough to give us a rich schedule right out of the box.”
The network also announced "Fox Sports Live," a news operation that will include a nightly program at 11 p.m. ET or immediately following big events. A morning newscast is planned for January 2014 in conjunction with Fox's Super Bowl coverage.