Jul 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Fox Sports microphone before a game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Is Fox Sports 1 Off to a Rocky Start? Fans Could Be Losing Out Come August 31st

Fox Sports is working on a new Sports Network, Fox Sports 1 and they are already off to a shaky start by not looking harder into getting contracts completed with tv and satellite providers. (Gee, this sounds familiar – see Pac 12 Network and Directv).

According to a report, negotiations are ‘amicable’ and it isn’t really that strange for a new network to have so many loose ends three weeks out from it’s launch, but they better get their act together. As far as Oregon Football is concerned there are two games on the new Fox Sports 1 – the first game against Nicholls State, and the last game (which could and will likely be more important to Duck Fans, the Civil War against Oregon State.) I realize that it’s months away, but I cannot imagine the backlash from Duck Fans(and Beaver fans for that matter) if their beloved teams can’t be seen on tv because some rich executive sitting on his yacht in the Bahamas decided not to make a deal because it wasn’t for enough money.

The increased distribution and affiliate fees are important to Fox. Its executives have said that they expect FS1 to be profitable in the next two or three years, something that can only be achieved once they work out the affiliate deals.

To the executives making these decisions it almost feels like it’s not a sport or a game to them to deprive the public of cheering on their favorite team, but a business – and I get that, but how many fans have to stand up for a network to take notice. Plenty have stood up in favor of the Pac 12 Network on DirecTV over the last year and a half and they continue to turn a deaf ear. 

Fox is counting on the strength of FS1’s schedule, which includes 5,000 hours of live-event programming a year, and FS1’s TV Everywhere components to convince distributors to cut deals.

Keep in mind that Fox Sports 1 already has a ‘slot’ on most cable/satellite providers as ‘Speed TV’ – this should help with the negotiating process as once the contract is signed the swich can be flipped before the ink even dries.


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