During 21st Century Fox's investor day in Los Angeles Thursday, Fox Sports Media Group copresidents Eric Shanks and Randy Freer said they are targeting Fox Sports 1 to be profitable by 2016.
"We're no longer reliant on any one individual rights deal
for the success of Fox Sports 1," said Shanks.
During their presentation, Freer and Shanks maintained that Fox Sports 1 will be available in 90 million homes on the Aug. 17 launch date. The upcoming net still has not cut distribution deals with major operators such as Time Warner Cable, Dish or DirecTV.
Freer also finally let the cat out the bag in regards to the heavily rumored companion net to Fox Sports 1.
"From the outset, Fox Sports 1 will have a companion network,
Fox Sports 2, which will be a rebrand of Fuel TV," said Freer. "We believe in the
value of this approach as it will leverage multiple live events, original and
studio programming across both platforms."
Fuel TV's website also features a message in regards to the upcoming rebrand:
Shanks also said a main reason for the upcoming cable sports network was the ability to leverage it in upcoming rights negotiations. Late Wednesday, Fox inked a 12-year rights deal with USGA for the U.S. Open, beginning in 2015. It also widely expected that Fox will try to pry the NBA, whose rights deals expire following the 2015-16 season, away from either ESPN or Turner.
"We realized that to be competitive in future
rights negotiations for premiere packages, we needed a fully distributed and
highly rated national cable sports channel to be successful," said Shanks.