Murdoch's Fox unveils sports network to rival ESPN
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. on Tuesday announced plans for a new multi-sport network for the US market called Fox Sports 1 to challenge ESPN's dominance.
The launch had been widely anticipated as the conglomerate pursues a plan to split its publishing operations from its film and entertainment units.
"Our secret, admittedly a very poorly kept one, is now revealed," said Fox Sports Media Group co-president Eric Shanks.
"Fans are ready for an alternative to the establishment and our goal for FS1 is to provide the best in-game experience possible complemented by informative news, entertaining studio shows and provocative original programming."
To launch August 17, the new network will include Major League Baseball, college basketball, American football, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Nascar racing and international football matches.
The network will also carry sports news and talk and a nightly roundup.
A morning newscast is expected to launch in January 2014 in conjunction with the network's coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII.
"Building credibility and trust with our audience is paramount, so naturally we'll provide the staples, like news, scores and highlights, but we'll do it in a Fox Sports way," said Shanks.
The firm said a regular feature on the network will be the "double box" commercial format, in which ads and live action are on the same screen.