Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Under Further Review: Fox to Launch Sports Network

Today Fox will make a major announcement regarding its network: Fox Sports 1,a new 24/7 sports channel, will launch in August.  The sports network will compete directly with ESPN just as NBC Sports Network has attempted to do over the past year-plus.  The Speed channel will be rebranded as Fox's sports network.

Fox Sports 1 has been the worst kept secret in all of sports programming.  Plans began leaking out last year, so Rupert Murdoch barely even needs to make this big announcement.  We all knew. 

But can a Fox sports network challenge ESPN?  After all, ESPN has been the main player in a market that has not been able to compete for 34 years now.  The World Wide Leader has grown such a rapport with sports media consumers, they hold a virtual stranglehold on the market.

However, Fox does hold some intriguing rights in the television landscape.  Here is how Fox stacks up against ESPN and NBC Sports Network:


Major League Baseball
National Football League
National Basketball Association
Major College Football/Basketball Conferences
BCS National Championship (and subsequent playoff)


Major League Baseball
Major College Football/Basketball Conference (Catholic 7/Big East)
Ultimate Fighting Championship

NBC Sports Network:

Major League Soccer
National Hockey League
College Hockey
Mid-Major College Football/Basketball (CAA)
English Premiere League

It looks like Fox Sports has a solid base.  Fox as a whole obviously has experience with major events and has the on air personality to pull them off.  Regardless of what your thoughts are on Joe Buck, his name and voice have become synonymous with major sporting events in the United States.

Television, however, is not the only Fox will need to compete with ESPN.  They also need to develop a solid web presence as ESPN has with its website, Grantland, and various other sports media components that dominate the industry.

It will be tough for Fox Sports 1 at the beginning, but never say never.  There has been plenty of criticism for ESPN, so now may be the perfect time for big time, big spending competition to step in.  


Kevin Rossi is a pre-junior Drexel Sport Management major with a minor in Communications. Kevin has worked at Double Eagle Golf where he is now Social Media Coordinator and Comcast-Spectacor as their market research intern. Since joining the SMTSU, Kevin has worked his way up the ladder to Vice President. Currently, Kevin is a staff writer for Philahoops.com, and he will join Temple University Athletics for co-op in the spring.  Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

Connect with Kevin Rossi on LinkedIn.

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