(from Sports Business Journal, November 26, 2012) Fox Sports has been heavily marketing its newest channel to top sports industry insiders, top league executives, and top conference executives with big aspirations in mind. The channel is called Fox Sports 1 and is a rebrand of their current motorspeed channel, Speed. Fox Sports 1 is expected to be launched by August in over 81 million homes. The channel will televise all sports and insiders believe it could possibly compete with ESPN.
Fox Sports has been promoting this new channel by showing league and conference executives from a variety of sports a “sizzle reel” which debuts the plans for the Fox Sports 1 channel. The video is around 10 minutes long and clearly states its belief that it has the background and firepower to potentially compete with ESPN. In the video, a focus group made up entirely of men voice their dislike of ESPN and the channel’s constant east-coast bias and they desire for a network that can provide sport news without the drama. The video also details the plans of the channel’s live programming, which will include games from college basketball and football, MLB, and the UFC. There is also mention of studio programming and hints of a show that could rival “SportsCenter” that is hosted by Jay Glazer.
League executives were mostly intrigued by a plan that runs in-game advertising in “double box”. The “double box” will allow for ads to be run the entire event alongside event footage. While the channel will launch in August, the coming-out party for the channel is expected to be a week prior to the Super Bowl in New York since Fox holds the rights to the game. In that week alone Fox Sports 1 is predicted to televise primetime college basketball games, a UFC event, and a U.S. women’s national soccer game in Yankee Stadium.
There is a lot of potential in Fox Sports 1 and it is currently all speculation, it remains to been seen if they can live up to the hype.