Thank you FS1


Victor Miltiades

Thank You Fox Sports 1


            Fox Sports 1 is attempting to try to go against the behemoth that is ESPN. ESPN has monopolized the full-time sports network, the closest thing to competition was the NBC’s Wide World of Sports and CNN/SI.  Wide World of Sports was just a TV show that ended in ’98 and CNN/SI  only lasted from ’96 to ’02.  ESPN debuted in the September of 1979, a child of giant ABC which is owned by the even greater behemoth Disney, yet it has taken until 2013 for another network to air their own full-time sports network. Fox launched Fox Sports 1 just last Saturday, and they have a hill to climb if they are going to compete with ESPN.

            ESPN has a long standing fan base, they are well established, it will take a long to for FS1to try and compete with them. This is well timed time to launch FS1, with a couple weeks before football season starts and Top Ten countdowns filled with baseball highlights. It is a downtime in sports news, but with football season right the corner. This will give FS1 to try and build some attention by capturing a few wandering eyes who are tired of hearing about A-Rod and Tebow for hours on end.

            Although I believe ESPN could use this to better themselves, ESPN has gotten complacent and lazy. They haven’t had anyone to chase their tails and force them to try. I believe that FS1 is actually the best thing to happen to ESPN in a long time. Competition brings out the best in people, especially in sports; hopefully it is the same way in sports news coverage. FS1 is starting off some with some well-known talent to challenge ESPN. With well-known sports commentators like Jim Rome and Erin Andrews, sports personalities Donovan McNabb and Andy Roddick, and famous hosts like Regis Philbman, FS1 is not entering this fight empty handed. Having FS1 on their heels gives ESPN something to fight for, someone to challenge them, another network to push them to do better. Recently ESPN brought back one of their original sportscasters Keith Olberman into the mix again, just in time for football season to kickoff. To say ESPN is scoffing at the idea of FS1 being a competition would be an understatement.  FS1 is trying to appeal to ESPN’s audience but also bring in a new one to American sports television. Hosting soccer matching and UFC fights on a cable television channel brings something new to the table, a market that has not been tapped into very much by ESPN. Both mixed martial arts and soccer are rising in popularity in the United States, making those sports a good investment for FS1.

            Fox is prepared to invest into this all-sports channel. In this era with sports becoming one of the only television events that must be watched live to enjoy, advertisers are clamoring for ad space during those events more and more as their value increases. ESPN knows this, they have not been so successful by accident. FS1 is trying to bring change to sports news, so I would not expect ESPN to stay as static as they have been in the past. I see FS1 lighting a little fire under ESPN while FS1 is launching, but ESPN will hit back harder and stronger. Maybe because of die-hard fans, maybe soccer and UFC will only take them so far, or maybe it is just too natural to sit on the couch and change the channel to ESPN.

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