With the Fox Sports 1 launch just a little over a month away, we're hearing rumblings that its anticipated reach of 90 million homes on August 17 may be in jeopardy. Back in February when Fox officially pulled the covers off its new all-sports cable network, executives giddily announced that they expected to have agreements in place with all of the major providers before the launch.
According to a report in this week's Sports Business Journal, John Ourand reports that three cable and satellite providers, Dish Network, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are still negotiating carriage agreements. Awful Announcing has learned that a fourth provider is also negotiating and perhaps balking at Fox's proposed 80 cents per subscriber cost. In Ourand's report, the deal to carry Fox Sports 1 would eventually increase to $1.50 per subscriber.
Fox Sports officials had been hoping that they would have most of the major providers on board by now so they would have a smooth transition when the switch is flicked to turn the current Speed Channel to Fox Sports 1 next month. However, with increasing sports rights fees being passed to the cable and satellite companies and subsequently to consumers, it's not a surprise to see some pushback. The providers had thought that they would be able to carry Fox Sports 1 at the original cost of Speed until that contract ended, but Fox is apparently trying to reap benefits similar to ESPN, which has the highest per subscriber cost of any cable network.
And with some providers already refusing to pick up various networks like Comcast SportsNet Houston, Pac-12 Networks and Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Fox Sports is feeling the heat as well.
As the launch date approaches, we'll hear of some of the holdouts picking up Fox Sports 1, but don't be surprised to read of one or more refusing to carry it for an extended period. The voyage for Fox Sports 1 is just beginning, but right now, it's currently a bumpy ride. Needless to say, if FS1 was kept off any major distributors when its launch date rolls around it would have a severely negative impact on the channel coming out of the gates.
I can see paying 75-80 cents in year one for this network, BUTT unless they score a whole lot more high end NEW sports they are not worth 1.50 a month period.
The More than can steel from ESPN. The less that Network should be worth per subscriber.
I can understand them negotiating to get SPEED/ FS1 onto a lower tier. Remember that when FX got placed on the basic tier for Dish Network, it was because of their live sports pickups in college football, UFC, and UEFA soccer. I doubt that FOX would want FX back on a higher tier, so I can understand them trying to negotiate it onto a lower tier. Still, you need to be willing to give on the price some.
Interesting that they are haggling with DirecTV since FOX owns a big chuck of it. That one should be worked out in quick order.
The first to go direct to Internet and set-top/entertainment device or television built-in will have my eyeballs. Eventually aggregators will develop a method of aggregating content and delivering directly to these devices. Cable will continue to bill as a conduit to content providers, aggregators, and end-points as customers for their content drop off. The future of cable is not in content but as conduit. Until then, I refuse to pay for 100s of channels of dreck just to watch sports. It sucks as a sports fan, but I just can't pay for cable. It's cheaper to go to the games.
@Matt King Speed Network is mainly a NASCAR network, but they also air Motorcycle racing and other forms of motorsports. They air a bunch of car related TV show
They lost F1 racing to NBC Sports this year.