Reports say that Fox Sports is adding not one, but two, national sports networks to its television offerings.
According to reports, Fox will launch Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in the upcoming months. That’s in addition to CBS and NBC focusing more on national sports networks, all with the goal of eventually trying to compete with ESPN.
According to the Sports Business Journal, Speed will be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 by August. The rebranded network will have live programming from rights deals with MLB, NASCAR, soccer, college sports and UFC in addition to shows such as an alternative to “SportsCenter.”
It’s a long shot that any of these new ventures — Fox, CBS or NBC — will overtake ESPN, especially in the near future. In the long term, it’s more plausible but still would take a lot of work as ESPN has spent the past several decades becoming a dominant force in the sports world on television, online and even in print.
For sports fans the new networks should be great. With three or more additional networks, there should be a huge increase in the amount of sports broadcast each year.
ESPN does a great job with its live sporting event broadcasts. It offers so many events and makes them readily available on television and online (assuming you have a television provider with access to the content).
But having more competition would bring even more sporting events into the spotlight. There could be a day when every college football game is available on television each Saturday.
In addition to the increase in televised games, I look forward to the possibility that someone could challenge ESPN in other programming. Other than for games, I don’t watch much ESPN much anymore because of the network’s emphasis on “debate.” There’s too much arguing instead of news and highlights for my taste.
Hopefully the new networks can create programming that goes back to the days when “SportsCenter” was more watchable and “First Take” didn’t exist.
Kyle Shaner is the sports editor for the Daily Advocate. He can be reached at email@example.com.