In a story that could potentially have a great impact on the sports world, Bloomberg today released a story detailing Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. taking steps to build a national cable television sports network. Already, NBC and Comcast launched NBC Sports Network earlier this year to try and challenge the Bristol behemoth. Fox may now be on the verge of stepping up to the plate as well. Here's the juiciest portions of the Bloomberg report:
News Corp. is assembling the required rights from pay-TV carriers and sports organizations, said the people, who requested anonymity because talks are private. While a final decision hasn’t been made to move forward, the company is considering converting its Fuel action-sports network to the new channel, two of the people said.
The new channel could begin service by the end of this year, one person said. The effort is being led by David Hill, the chairman of Fox Sports, one person said.
News Corp., based in New York, has clearance from some carriers, including DirecTV, the biggest U.S. satellite television provider, two people said.
Fuel, a 24-hour action-sports network that carries mixed-martial arts fights, is available in 36 million U.S. homes, according to Fox.
This, quite frankly, is massive news. If there is any force in the world of media powerful enough to take on ESPN and Disney, it is News Corp. Fox has attempted to compete with ESPN before through their local Fox Sports Network affiliates, however, this would be a much different ballgame. Instead of content being scattered amongst local and regional networks, this would be a cohesive national network. (Maybe this means the Best Damn Sports Show Period will be making a comeback too! And who doesn't miss Tom Arnold and his zany sports related hijinx!)