FX Tackles College FootballNetwork gives Fox a cable outlet for sports 3/27/2011 10:00:00 PM Eastern
Sports are returning to FX.
The channel, known for edgy entertainment and movies, is
expected to announce Monday it will be airing college football games on
Saturdays this fall.
The package of 13 Fox Sports on FX games, some of which will
air in primetime, is being carved out of rights deals Fox Sports already has
with the Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA. Conference USA's championship game
could also air on FX.
Sports have become a bigger priority for News Corp. since COO
Chase Carey returned to the company in 2009. Having a strong cable outlet is
important if Fox is going to compete for sports rights packages against ESPN,
NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting, all of which generate substantial
revenue from subscriber fees as well as advertising sales. FX has 99 million
FX has aired sports including Major League Baseball, NASCAR,
college football, boxing and NFL Europe in the past, but not since 2006.
Fox Sports will produce the game broadcasts. It plans to
announce the first three games on the schedule in June. Remaining games will be
picked six to 12 days before they air to ensure exciting matchups for FX.
The network has not yet determined which sportscasters will
announce the games and is developing plans for programming to surround the
games, including pre- and post-game shows.
A Big 12 and Pac-12 game of the week will continue to air on
Fox Sports Net, but FX is likely to get the best games. Other college football games
will appear on Fox's regional sports networks. In all, Fox will televise more than
170 college football games on its networks.
So far this year, FX's ratings are up 19% among adults 18 to
49, thanks to a strong movie package and the syndicated Two and a Half Men. The network is also known for acclaimed
original series including Sons of Anarchy,
Rescue Me, Justified and It's Always
Sunny in Philadelphia.