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Will Fox Sports 1 be a success or a failure?

August 15, 2013
  • Charissa Thompson, Donovan McNabb, Gabe Kapler and Ephraim Salaam talk during rehearsals for Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles.
Charissa Thompson, Donovan McNabb, Gabe Kapler and Ephraim Salaam talk… (Susannah Kay / Los Angeles…)

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether the new all-sports channel Fox Sports 1 will succeed. Join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Don Amore, Hartford Courant

It may be a very long day, but at the end of it Fox Sports 1 will survive and succeed.

It will succeed because like its foil, ESPN, it has the brand strength, resources and patience to stick it out.

We live in a sports and business landscape in which new ventures spring up every day -- new sports, new leagues, new media. Many of them don’t last because the expectation for quick success was unrealistic.

Fox’s ideas, like some of ESPN’s, may have seemed wacky at the start, but they take root and last. ESPN started up a magazine as magazines were dying, developed local radio stations and websites in already saturated markets, keeps adding channels. ... Has any of it “failed”?

Nothing with the Fox brand attached will be allowed to fail either, even if it means years of losing money. The appetite for sports information is endless in this culture. So, sight unseen, the smart money says Fox Sports 1 is here to stay.

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune

Three reasons I think Fox Sports 1 will succeed: 1) Some fans are looking for an alternative to the star-obsessed (Brett Favre, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel) ESPN. 2) The network has strong live content, namely college football and hoops, NASCAR, UFC, Major League baseball (beginning in 2014), the U.S. Open (beginning in 2015) and the World Cup (2018).

And 3) a tandem imported from Canada named Jay and Dan. Can’t say I have seen the work of Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole, but my Canadian friends and in-laws rave about their likability, relaxed vibe and quick wit. As long as they don’t load their “Fox Sports Live” show with hockey highlights (Oh, Canada), they will be popular in the States.

(Full disclosure: I appear on the “Big Ten Football and Beyond” show, which is partially owned by Fox.)

Keith Groller, Allentown Morning Call

Success will be in the eye of the beholder.

To some, it will be a success the second it hits the air Saturday morning, considering it will reach 90 million homes and have a spot on all major TV providers. Also, it has already secured the rights to several viable properties including college football and basketball, NASCAR, boxing and UFC.

But in terms of having groundbreaking success the way ESPN revolutionized sports television more than 30 years ago, you can forget it. That kind of success can’t be duplicated.

Considering all of the niche sports channels that have emerged in the past few decades -- the NFL and MLB networks, the Golf Channel, etc. -- and the growth of regional sports networks, it’s a very loud and crowded genre. Fox Sports 1 could get lost in the remote clicking.


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