Just a few days before the launch of the new 24/7 sports network FOX Sports 1, deals have been struck with three major television providers to guarantee the channel will be available this weekend when the network launches on Saturday. The hope was to get the channel in as many homes as possible and it is now mission accomplished, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The three carriers — satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish and cable operator Time Warner Cable – all have agreed to carry Fox Sports 1 when it launches. Those three distributors combined reach over 40 million homes.
Fox Sports 1 is using real estate previously held by the Speed Channel. Fox was seeking a big fee increase from distributors to carry the network. According to industry consulting firm SNL Kagan, Speed received about 23 cents per-subscriber, per-month. The price for Fox Sports 1 in the first year is said to be in the neighborhood of 80 cents.
The new channel will launch on Saturday with live sports programming from NASCAR and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
UFC Fight Night 26, headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between Chael Sonnen and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will be the highlight of the night for the new channel. With the promotion from the UFC and FOX Sports, you can expect big ratings.
21st Century FOX is hoping that FOX Sports 1 will be able to challenge ESPN in the future and with their all-star cast of hosts and analysts they have a real chance of reaching their goal — especially if the programming avoids non-stop talk about Tim Tebow, LeBron James and how the two could magically breed to make the most physically gifted, well-mannered pro athlete in the history of the world.