March 7, 2013
On Tuesday, we reported that News Corp. has plans to launch FOX Sports 1, a new national cable sports network, in the U.S. by August. ETCentric has since learned that FOX Sports Media Group also has plans to launch FOX Sports GO, a mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The “TV Everywhere” service, similar to WatchESPN, will also offer programming on the Web.
“Today, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) makes television history, officially unveiling plans to launch a new, national, multi-sport network called FOX Sports 1,” notes the March 6 press release. “The announcement was made by FSMG Co-Presidents and COOs Randy Freer and Eric Shanks. Set to debut on Saturday, August 17, just as FOX Sports kicks off its 20th anniversary year, FS1 is available in over 90 million homes, making this the biggest sports cable network launch in history, and one of the largest network launches ever. At the outset, FS1 boasts nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually.”
Programming will initially include college basketball and football, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, soccer, motor sports and UFC fights, in addition to 24/7 sports news and related original programming.
“Launching together with FOX Sports 1 will be FOX Sports GO, a groundbreaking mobile sports experience for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and Web,” notes the release. “FOX Sports Go will offer more than 1,000 live games and events from across FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports’ 22 regional sports networks, as well as scores, highlights, news, stats, and analysis. The live games and events will be available to subscribers of participating cable, satellite and telco providers at no additional cost.”
“As a company we haven’t been afraid to innovate and take well-calculated risks,” explains Freer. “We’ve devoted significant resources over the last few years to acquire and/or extend multi-platform rights with a wide variety of leagues and governing bodies well into the next decade, enough to give us a rich schedule right out of the box.”
Bill Wanger, executive vice president of programming and research, said the app may eventually show games not available on TV, reports Bloomberg.
“It will have everything on it that you need to watch on your phone or your tablet,” suggests Wanger. “In addition, we’re revamping our FOX Sports website to be more vertical.”