Fox Sports 1
|Fox Sports 1|
|Launched||August 17, 2013|
|Owned by||Fox Entertainment Group
(21st Century Fox)
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV/16:9 letterbox)
|Slogan||America's New Sports Network|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Sister channel(s)||Fox Sports 2
Fox Soccer Plus
Fox College Sports
Fox Sports Networks
Big Ten Network
|DirecTV||Channel 219 (HD/SD)|
|Dish Network||Channel 150 (HD/SD)|
|Available on most American cable providers||Check local listings|
|Time Warner Cable||Channel 123 (HD)
Channel 468 (HD)
Channel 266 (SD)
|Cablevision/Optimum||Channel 769 (HD)
Channel 56 (SD)
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 1652 (HD)
Channel 652 (SD)
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 583 (HD)
Channel 83 (SD)
|Google Fiber||Channel 207 (HD)|
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television channel. The network, which launched on August 17, 2013 (replacing the motorsports network Speed), is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group, a unit of the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. The network, along with companion channel Fox Sports 2 (which replaced Fuel TV at the same time that FS1 replaced Speed), is based primarily from the Fox Sports division's headquarters in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, California, though the networks also operate offices in New York City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina (the latter of which served as Speed's home base). Fox Sports 1's logo bug is derived from that of Fox Sports.
Fox Sports 1 airs an array of live sporting events, including college sports (most notably Pac-12 Conference and Big 12 Conference football, and Big East Conference basketball), soccer matches (including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and CONCACAF Champions League), UFC mixed martial arts, and a variety of motorsports events. Beginning in 2014, FS1's schedule will expand to include Major League Baseball, United SportsCar Racing, and FIA Formula E Championship events, with coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and United States Golf Association championship events starting in 2015. FS1 also features daily sports information, highlights, and discussion programming (with Fox Sports Live serving as the centerpiece), as well as sports-related reality and documentary programming. Both FS1 and FS2 absorbed most of the sports programming from its predecessors, as well as content from Fox Soccer, which was replaced by the entertainment channel FXX on September 2, 2013.
In March 2012, reports began circulating that plans were in the works to launch a national Fox Sports cable network by August 2013 known as Fox Sports 1, giving Fox Sports a dedicated cable presence to better compete against established networks like ESPN. Fox was already a major force in cable sports programming. It operated several niche channels such as Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes, Fuel TV, and Fox College Sports. Also in its portfolio were the Fox Sports Networks, a group of Fox-owned or affiliated regional sports networks that, in addition to carrying play-by-play rights to several local sports teams, also featured common national content produced and distributed by Fox Sports, including national college sports broadcasts and specialty programs such as The Best Damn Sports Show Period and Baseball's Golden Age. Though this local/national hybrid approach gave Fox prominence at the local sports level, it was somewhat disadvantaged as being the only major U.S. broadcast television network not to have a national general-sports channel to complement its sports division, unlike ABC (whose corporate parent The Walt Disney Company owns a controlling 80% stake in ESPN), CBS (which operates CBS Sports Network), and NBC (which runs NBCSN).
The reports indicated that Fox planned on converting one of these niche sports channels, Speed – which focused on auto racing and other motorsports, as well as motorsports-related specialty programs, into the new Fox Sports 1 due to its established reach by U.S. pay television providers (Speed maintained a subscriber base of 81 million homes with cable, IPTV or satellite service by 2012), which would result in the reduction of the channel's commitment to NASCAR and other motorsports coverage.
Further supporting this theory, reports surfaced in January 2013 that Fox Soccer would be relaunched as FXX, a general entertainment network that would be spun off from FX and would feature comedy series and feature films; such reports were confirmed when the channel was officially announced on March 28, 2013. In October 2012, Speed altered its on-air logo bug to include the Fox Sports logo above its own, which was believed to indicate a step towards this replacement. Fox Sports would officially confirm the conversion of Speed into Fox Sports 1 in an announcement on March 5, 2013.
Despite being established well after ESPN (1979) and the CBS- and NBC-owned sports networks (2002 and 1995, respectively), Fox Sports 1, even before commencing programming, has been seen as a legitimate and serious competitor to ESPN, in part due to three factors:
- Audience reach – FS1 was expected to reach 90 million households at the time of its launch, most of which using the channel slot Speed occupied on the channel lineups of cable and satellite services which is nearly all in basic cable tiers; by comparison, though that number is relatively less than ESPN's total reach (99 million homes), it is also more than the 77.9 million homes that NBCSN reached at the beginning of 2013, which was hamstrung by some of its reach being only in digital cable tiers.
- Brand awareness – Fox heavily promoted FS1's launch through its various television, online, and social media platforms, including appearances of FS1 talent on existing Fox programming and the online posting of its shows' pre-launch rehearsals.
- Programming strategy – Fox was aggressive in seeking and securing major content for FS1, employing a strategy to obtain rights to popular sports and leagues that they believed other networks underserved, as well as creating high-profile original shows (see Programming below).
Fox Sports executives see FS1 as "an alternative to the establishment", much as Fox was to other broadcast networks in the 1980s and Fox News Channel was to CNN in the 1990s. In terms of growth, Fox believes FS1 will start modestly and not be competitively equal with ESPN right out of the gate; however, they do foresee the network growing incrementally, believing the channel will be on-par with its senior competitor within a few years of its launch.
Launch and carriage
Fox Sports 1 formally launched on August 17, 2013 at 6:00 a.m. ET. The launch day featured 16.5 hours of live sports coverage, including NASCAR coverage during the late morning and afternoon (highlighted by Camping World Truck Series qualifying and race), five hours of UFC bouts in the evening (the main event of the Fight Night card being a match between Maurício Rua and Chael Sonnen), and the premiere of the sports news and discussion show Fox Sports Live following the conclusion of the UFC event.
Deals for carriage of Fox Sports 1 on launch day were made with all major cable and satellite providers including cable/telco providers Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Bright House Networks, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Cable One, and Time Warner Cable, as well as satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network. The deals with Time Warner, Dish, and DirecTV – which were announced just days before FS1's launch – were seen as crucial to the network, as those three providers combined reach over 40 million homes, nearly half the 90-million household goal that FS1 set for its launch.
Although marketed as a relaunch of Speed, Fox Sports 1 was effectively a new channel – due to its change in scope, Fox was required to reach new deals with providers for them to carry the network; Fox also sought a higher carriage fee as well, estimated at 80¢ per subscriber (more than triple the fee of 23¢ per subscriber that Speed commanded; by comparison, ESPN pulls in fees of approximately $5.00 per subscriber). Concerns by providers over the increasing costs for cable and satellite services for their customers (largely believed to be partly due to the higher fees commanded by certain sports channels) resulted in Fox backing off charging the 80¢ per subscriber rate, instead charging the same 23¢ rate that those providers paid to carry Speed. For any remaining providers that have not reached a deal to carry Fox Sports 1, Fox planned to offer a version of Speed with limited programming on an interim basis until they reach a deal, in order to fulfill existing contracts requiring Fox to provide a motorsports channel (the number of providers remaining in this situation is unclear).
International markets that previously received the U.S. version of Speed (such as Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico) were not switched to Fox Sports 1; in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission permitted the carriage of Speed as a foreign service, but Fox did not seek carriage of FS1 in that country (most of the sports event programming that Fox Sports 1 maintains contracts to carry already air in that country on domestic sports networks such as TSN and Sportsnet). A version of Speed remains operational for these markets, airing a lineup of past Speed reality shows, and coverage of NASCAR and other motorsports events simulcast with Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.
The slate of sports event programming on Fox Sports 1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- College athletics – Several live college sporting events will air, most notably college football and basketball games from the Big East, Big 12, Conference USA, and Pac-12 athletic conferences of the NCAA.
- International soccer – FS1 carries matches from the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and CONCACAF Champions League through Fox Sports' existing broadcast rights with those organizations.
- Boxing – Bi-weekly boxing events produced by Golden Boy Promotions air on Monday nights.
- Mixed martial arts – FS1 offers live Ultimate Fighting Championship events on Wednesday nights, as well as live preliminary fights for pay-per-view events on Saturday nights.
- Motor sports – Several motor sporting events were carried over from Speed, including coverage of live practices and qualifying from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, live races from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, events from United SportsCar Racing and the Whelen Modified Tour, and Grand Prix motorcycle racing from the Moto2 and Moto3 classes as well as the MotoGP World Championship.
- Horse racing – FS1 shows up to 10 graded stakes races, including two top stakes races.
- Future live events
- Major League Baseball – Beginning in 2014, FS1 will include Major League Baseball coverage, with regular season games (one per week) and select post-season games airing on FS1 beginning in 2014; as a result, MLB regular season coverage on the Fox network will be reduced to 12 weeks beginning in 2014.
- NASCAR – Some NASCAR coverage will also migrate from Fox to FS1 in 2015, with seven live Sprint Cup races and 14 live Nationwide Series races airing per-year on FS1 as part of Fox Sports' new agreement with NASCAR that runs through 2024; the live races will expand on the NASCAR programming carrying over from Speed to FS1.
- FIFA soccer – Beginning with the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, FS1 will air coverage of FIFA championship events, including the Men’s and Women’s World Cup tournaments; the deal, which runs through 2021, succeeds FIFA's relationship with ABC and ESPN that ends in 2014.
- USGA golf – FS1 will also air coverage of United States Golf Association championship events, among them the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open, as part of a 12-year deal that will run from 2015 to 2026, succeeding the USGA's long-term relationships with NBC Sports and ESPN.
- United SportsCar Racing – Both FS1 and FS2 will air United SportsCar Racing events as part of a five-year deal between 2014 and 2018. Details of the coverage (including the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona) will be announced.
- FIA Formula E Championship – FS1 will air coverage of the FIA Formula E Championship starting in 2014.
- German Bundesliga soccer – Beginning with the 2015-16 season, FS1 (along with FS2 and Fox Soccer Plus) will be the US home for the German top flight soccer league on a 5-year deal. The deal covers all 306 league games, the DFL-Supercup, and the Bundesliga relegation playoffs.
- Copa Libertadores soccer - Beginning in the 2014 edition, FS1 (along with FS2) will be the US english home for one of the most prestigious club tournaments in South American football, which is the premier club football competition on the continent and the equivalent to the UEFA Champions League.
News and analysis programming
Fox Sports 1 airs several studio shows, especially in the afternoon and early evening, including the programs listed below (the shows' start times may be affected by the network's live sports schedule and may occasionally be moved to Fox Sports 2 to ensure live clearance).
- Fox Soccer Daily (3:30-4:00 p.m. ET weekdays; August 19, 2013 – present) – Hosted by Julie Stewart-Binks, this show features the latest news, highlights, and analysis from the soccer world, including coverage of English Premier League, UEFA and Major League Soccer. The program is produced from Los Angeles and serves as a replacement for Fox Soccer's Canadian-originated Fox Soccer News. The show may be aired on Fox Soccer Plus in the event of scheduling conflicts on FS1.
- NASCAR Race Hub (4:00-5:00 p.m. ET weekdays; August 19, 2013 – present) – One of the shows that FS1 inherited from Speed, this program features news analysis on NASCAR, including reviews of previous races and previews of upcoming action.
- Crowd Goes Wild (5:00–6:00 p.m. ET weekdays; August 19, 2013 – present) – Hosted by Regis Philbin and originating from New York City, this show features View-like discussions on major stories from the worlds of sports and entertainment, including discussions with panelists including Georgie Thompson, Michael Kosta, Trevor Pryce, Katie Nolan, and Wall Street Journal sports columnist Jason Gay, as well as interaction with the live audience and viewers through social media.
- Fox Football Daily (6:00–7:00 p.m. ET weekdays; August 19, 2013 – present) – A show that covers all of the latest college and NFL football news, featuring familiar faces from Fox's NFL and college coverage (including Terry Bradshaw, Jay Glazer, Howie Long, Mike Pereira, and Charles Davis), along with new hires including Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Scott Fujita, Ronde Barber, and Joel Klatt.
- Fox NFL Kickoff (11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET Sundays; August 18, 2013 – present) – A show that airs during the NFL season and serves as the warm-up to the Fox network's Fox NFL Sunday pregame show.
- Fox Sports Live (11:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m. ET nightly, repeated throughout the next morning; August 17, 2013 – present) – Fox Sports 1's sportscast of record, which will on most nights air directly opposite ESPN's SportsCenter. The program is headlined by main anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole, who came to FS1 from the Canadian sports channel TSN; it was at TSN where the pair gained popularity for their irreverent presentation of sports news while serving in late-night anchor roles on that network's SportsCentre. Fox Sports Live also features analysis and opinions on that night's events and that day's news, with Charissa Thompson leading a panel of former athletes (or "opinionists", as Fox Sports Executive Vice President Scott Ackerman has termed them) that includes Donovan McNabb, Gary Payton, Andy Roddick, and Ephraim Salaam. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show is hosted by Don Bell and Ryan Field and Onrait and O'Toole host the shows without the panel on Sundays. 
- NASCAR RaceDay (Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning depending on the race time; August 17, 2013 – present) – A pre-race show for the Sprint Cup Series that was carried over from Speed. John Roberts hosts, along with analysis from Larry McReynolds, Kyle Petty, and Kenny Wallace.
- NASCAR Victory Lane (Saturday night or Sunday evening depending on the race time; August 18, 2013 – present) – A post-race show for the Sprint Cup Series that was carried over from Speed. John Roberts, Kyle Petty, and Kenny Wallace host.
- UFC Tonight (Wednesday night; September 11, 2013 - present) – Hosted by Chael Sonnen, Kenny Florian, and Leeann Tweeden, the program will feature the latest news, highlights, and analysis from the UFC, this program was carried over to FS1 from Fuel TV (now Fox Sports 2).
Reality and documentary series
As part of the channel's acquisition of broadcast rights to UFC events, the promotions reality/competition program The Ultimate Fighter moved to FS1 from FX. The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate is slated to air Wednesday evenings at 10 p.m. ET beginning on September 4, 2013.
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