Fox Sports 1
|Fox Sports 1|
|Launched||August 17, 2013|
|Owned by||Fox Entertainment Group
(21st Century Fox)
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)
(HD feed downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV sets)
|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)|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 583 (HD)
Channel 83 (SD)
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 1652 (HD)
Channel 652 (SD)
|Google Fiber||Channel 207 (HD)|
|Fox Sports Go||Watch live
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login to stream content)
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the Fox Sports Media Group, a unit of the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. FS1 replaced the motorsports network Speed on August 17, 2013, at the same time that its companion channel Fox Sports 2 replaced Fuel TV. 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-based channel FXX on September 2, 2013.
Fox Sports 1 airs an array of live sporting events, including Major League Baseball, college sports (most notably Pac-12 and Big 12 Conference football, and Big East Conference basketball), soccer matches (including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CONCACAF Champions League and Copa Libertadores), UFC mixed martial arts, and a variety of motorsports events such as NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and United SportsCar Championship. FS1's schedule will include FIA Formula E Championship in 2014, while coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, United States Golf Association championship events and Major League Soccer will begin airing 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.
The network 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 had served as Speed's home base). Fox Sports 1's on-air logo is derived from that used by Fox Sports since 2008.
In March 2012, reports began circulating that Fox Entertainment Group had plans 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 on 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's planned launch was officially announced by Fox Entertainment Group 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 (which launched in 1979), and the CBS- and NBC-owned sports networks (which respectively launched in 1996 and 2003 under different ownership and branding), 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 (with most cable and satellite providers carrying it on the channel slot, almost entirely through distribution on basic cable tiers, that Speed had occupied on their channel lineups); by comparison, though that number is relatively less than ESPN's total reach (99 million homes), however 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 through carriage on 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 the Fox Broadcasting Company was to other broadcast networks in the 1980s and Fox News Channel was to CNN in the 1990s. In terms of growth, Fox Entertainment Group believes that FS1 will start modestly and not be competitively equal with ESPN right out of the gate; however, the company foresees the network growing incrementally, believing that 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. Eastern Time, with the following introduction:
|“||Good morning and welcome to the very first day of Fox Sports 1. Here on America's new sports network, our promise to you is that we will share your passion for the game, never take ourselves too seriously, and, most importantly, never put ourselves above the game nor the athletes. We will be informative without ever sacrificing accuracy. We work for you, the fan, and every day we will live up to this simple promise. Now let’s get on with the show.||”|
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.
Although marketed as a relaunch of Speed, Fox Sports 1 was effectively a new channel—due to its change in scope from motorsports to mainstream sports, Fox was required to reach new deals with providers for them to carry the network. At first, 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 had commanded; by comparison, ESPN pulls in fees of approximately $5.00 per subscriber, the most expensive fee of any pay television network). 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 had 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 a deal was reached in order to fulfill existing contracts that required Fox to provide a motorsports channel.
Carriage deals were made by the launch date 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 had a combined reach of over 40 million homes, nearly half the goal of 90 million households that FS1 set for its launch.
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 (some 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. Beginning in early 2014, the channel was dropped by some major Canadian service providers as their contracts expired.
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 air on FS1, most notably college football and basketball games from the Big East, Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 athletic conferences of the NCAA.
- High school football – Fox Sports 1 carries a prominent high school football contest on most Friday nights during the months of September and October; in 2013, it also carried a game on Thanksgiving morning, the first time such a game has been seen on national television since 2006.
- Major League Baseball – Beginning in 2014, when Fox Sports began a new television contract with Major League Baseball, FS1 airs 40 regular season MLB games (mostly on Saturdays), along with up to 15 post-season games (eight Divisional Series games and one best-of-7 League Championship Series). The deal resulted in a reduction of MLB coverage on the Fox network, which will air 12 regular season games, the All-Star Game, and the World Series.
- 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.
- Copa Libertadores soccer - FS1 (along with Fox Sports 2) is the U.S. English language broadcaster 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.
- 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.
- FA Cup – Fox Sports 1 broadcasts soccer matches from the oldest tournament in England.
- Motorsports – 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 Championship and the Whelen Modified Tour, and Grand Prix motorcycle racing from the Moto2 and Moto3 classes as well as the MotoGP World Championship. The network also airs Monster Jam monster truck events.
- Horse racing – FS1 shows up to 10 graded stakes races, including two top stakes races.
- Future live events
- NASCAR – Some NASCAR coverage will 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 Championship – Both FS1 and FS2 will air United SportsCar Championship 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 U.S. broadcaster for the German top flight soccer league as part of a five-year deal that lasts through 2019. The deal covers all 306 league games, the DFL-Supercup, and the Bundesliga relegation playoffs.
- MLS soccer - Beginning with the 2015 season, FS1 will air MLS games, in a deal in which MLS television rights will be shared with ESPN. The deal includes 34 regular season matches, which will primarily be carried on FS1. In addition, ESPN and Fox will alternate broadcast rights of the MLS All-Star Game and the MLS Cup each year. It also establishes the Soccer Night in America franchise on Sunday nights, succeeding MLS' relationship with NBC Sports.
- U.S. Men's National Soccer Team – Beginning in 2015, Fox/FS1 and ESPN will share rights to matches featuring the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team.
- Franklin Templeton Shootout – Beginning in 2014, FS1 will air the weekday matches of the tournament, while Fox will air the final round.
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).
- The Mike Francesa Show (weekdays 1:00–5:00 p.m. Eastern; March 24, 2014–present) – Simulcast of Francesa's radio show on WFAN in New York City.
- NASCAR Race Hub (weekdays 5:00–6:00 p.m. Eastern; 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.
- UFC Tonight (Wednesdays 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Eastern; September 11, 2013–present) – Hosted by Kenny Florian and Leeann Tweeden, the program features the latest news, highlights, and analysis from the UFC, this program was carried over to FS1 from Fuel TV (now Fox Sports 2).
- Fox NFL Kickoff (Sundays 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Eastern during the NFL season; August 18, 2013–present) – A program previewing the day's NFL action, it serves as the warm-up to the Fox network's Fox NFL Sunday pregame show.
- Fox Sports Live (nightly 11:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m. Eastern, repeated throughout the next morning; August 17, 2013–present) – Fox Sports 1's sportscast of record, which on most nights will 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, 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 group of analysts from FS1's sister channels (such as Big Ten Network). On Sundays and Mondays, the show is anchored by Don Bell, Cole Wright and Ryan Field; Onrait and O'Toole anchor a panel-free Saturday edition.
- America's Pregame (weeknights 6:00–7:00 p.m. Eastern; April 7, 2014–present) – An early evening preview of the night's sports action
- 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.
- MLB Whiparound (nightly during baseball season, March 31, 2014–present) – A nightly Major League Baseball program similar in vein to ESPN's Baseball Tonight or MLB Network's MLB Tonight, featuring quick turnaround highlights, news and analysis. The show is hosted by Chris Meyers, and one or two analysts from the group of Frank Thomas, Eric Karros, Gabe Kapler and C.J. Nitkowski. It airs live from Los Angeles on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights from 10:00-11:00 p.m. Eastern and most Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00 a.m. Eastern (the program airs at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on certain Wednesdays without a prior programming conflict).
Reality and documentary series
As part of the channel's acquisition of broadcast rights to UFC events, the promotion's reality/competition program The Ultimate Fighter moved to FS1 from FX. The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate was the first season to air on the channel, beginning on September 4, 2013.
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