FUEL TV May Be No More; FOX Sports 2 Likely Its Replacement
By Jake Chastain
| News is circulating that News Corp.’s FOX Sports is not only getting ready to launch its newest sports station, FOX Sports 1, on August 17th but now we’re getting word that the company is looking to launch 2 new stations, maybe even on the same day. Insiders working on the plan have hinted toward a second channel, FOX Sports 2, being introduced to the public alongside the already confirmed launch date of FOX Sports 1 on August 17th.
The new channel, FOX Sports 2, will likely take the place of FUEL TV, another FOX owned network that currently carries a heavy amount of UFC programming. What is most interesting is that most of this news surrounding FOX Sports 2 has been kept under wraps while Fox Sports 1 is getting a big marketing push behind it.
Aside from the UFC and mixed martial arts programming it is still unclear what sports the new station will carry. It has already been confirmed that the line-up for FOX Sports 1 will showcase NASCAR, college football and basketball, and regular-season and postseason Major League Baseball coming in 2014.
FOX has been making a major push in the last decade or so to become one of the leaders in sports broadcasting and the formation and launch of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 will likely help solidify their spot among the sporting giants of cable. Along with their new channels coming in August Fox also owns almost two dozen regional sports channels including Prime Ticket and Fox Sports West in Los Angeles. According to the LA Times FOX also recently acquired a 49% stake in New York’s YES, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, with an option to buy the rest in the future. It also recently bought a sports channel in Cleveland.
And if all of that wasn’t enough Fox is also increasing its entertainment presence in cable. Insiders have hinted that FOX will also be launching FXX, a sister channel to its popular FX network.
With all of these new channels and acquisitions FOX is slowly becoming the leader in sports television. ABC’s ESPN has been a longtime juggernaut in the sports TV world but one thing that ESPN has failed to tap into as the past decade has flown by is mixed martial arts. Now, with FOX launching two new channels that could very well play home to an overload of UFC events and shows throughout the year, it may only be a matter of time before FOX holds the upper hand in sports television.