Fox Sport to Make History by Premiering in 90 Million Homes, Aims to Take on ESPN

By iSportconnect | March 6, 2013

Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is set to launch on August 17 and will premiere in 90 million cable and satellite TV homes, becoming the largest sports network launch in US history.

When it premieres, FS1 will replace the Speed channel and will show a mixture of live games and studio programming.

An 11pm news programme will air with the aim to rival ESPN’s SportsCenter, and bosses were keen to knock ESPN’s dominance in sports broadcasting.

In an official press release, Eric Shanks, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) Co-President and COO commented: “Our ‘secret,’ admittedly a very poorly kept one, is now revealed. 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.”

“Our hope is that we can be equally professional” with ESPN, said David Hill, Senior Executive Vice-President of News Corp, who is overseeing the new channel. “It’s going to take us a while. We’re not expecting to knock ESPN off in the first week or two. It’s going to take two to three years. It will be a slog.”

Bill Wagner, Fox Sports’ Executive Vice President added: “ESPN, quite frankly, is a machine. We’re going to have to scratch and claw our way to the top.”

College basketball, college football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC are some of the events that will be aired live on the new channel.

Randy Feer, fellow FSMG Co-President and COO added: “As a company we haven’t been afraid to innovate and take well-calculated risks.

“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.”

Picture: David Hill presenting Fox Sports 1