Fox Sports 1, the new sports channel from News Corp. that launches tomorrow, looks like the most formidable threat to ESPN hegemony in a long time.
But let’s be real, ESPN is the most valuable cable channel in the world, and the initial gap between the two channels is massive.
ESPN currently charges cable providers ~$US5.15 monthly per subscriber, according to Reuters.
At launch, Fox Sports 1 is charging $US0.23 monthly per subscriber, according to the Sports Business Journal. FS1 originally wanted $US0.80 per subscriber.
There are good reasons to believe FS1 is going to succeed (and thus raise their subscriber fees). They have the broadcast rights to live sports people care about, they’ve made some smart hires, and there’s a ton of money behind it.
But this is the initial gap between the two. Fox has a mountain to climb:
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