About a year after it first launched to what was then the largest number of subscribers for a new network, 21st Century Fox chief operating officer Chase Carey said its Fox Sports 1 national sports channel is “more than halfway there,” in terms of setting higher affiliate rates.
Fox Sports 1 launched Aug.17, 2013 to about 90 million homes, the single largest debut of a sports network on cable. That crown held last month, as ESPN’s SEC Network is available in about 98 million but has about 62 million subscribers.
Fox Sports 1 was formerly the Speed Channel, which mainly focused on motor sports prior to its conversion. During the launch, sources in the distribution community have said that distributors were given the option of cutting a new carriage deal with the channel or going under the old Speed Channel rate until that contract expired.