Fox Sports 1 launched as a 24 hour all sports network last week. While CBS and NBC have launched 24 hour sports networks in the past year it looks as if Fox Sports 1 will be the greatest challenger to ESPN. ESPN is the largest all sports network with the most history so each network has to carve their own niche with sports fans. NBC Sports Network has focused its programming around the NHL, NFL, Premier League and fringe sports like cycling while CBS Sports Network seems to be a minor league sports network filling much of its programming with lesser tier college football and college basketball.
Fox Sports 1 will be a home for NFL, UFC, college football and soccer spillover from regular Fox programming. I’m assuming that they’ll integrate MLB into next year’s shows. Fox Sports 1 seems to have the most upper tier programming to take some market share from big brother, ESPN. In addition to strong major league sports they have a strong roster of former professional athletes and professional broadcasters for their regular TV shows (hello Charissa and Erin).
Mainstream sports media has tiptoed around gambling in the past even though it plays a large role in popularity of certain sports – especially football. One way that Fox Sports 1 is differentiating itself from ESPN is not hiding from gambling – at least not hiding from the fact that gambling exists. Fox Sports 1 has point spreads displayed when they run upcoming matchups on their bottom line or side bar (above). This isn’t just for football as they had betting odds for the UFC fights last weekend.
I haven’t noticed any of the talking heads on Fox Sports 1 speaking about gambling directly but this is the first time that I can remember seeing a TV network using point spreads all day long, not just for pick segments.
I’m curious to see how they incorporate point spreads into football wrap ups. Discussing ATS (Against The Spread) records along side of straight up records would really open the door to sports betting discussion. As a sports bettor and fan I would love this.
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