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SBD/August 12, 2013/Media
Fox' Aggressive Strategy To Challenge ESPN Examined, Net Reportedly Hires Randy Moss
Published August 12, 2013
ESPN FEELS CONFIDENT: ESPN President John Skipper addressed the launch of FS1 yesterday on CNN's "Reliable Sources" and said, "We have a great deal of respect for the News Corporation and for Fox. They’ve got some excellent rights, they make smart plays, News Corp. will make big bets, so we respect what they do and we’re cognizant. We, on the other hand, feel very confident in our strengths in the aggregation of rights that we have, our people, in our relationships with advertisers and our distribution deals. We are in a strong position” ("Reliable Sources," CNN, 8/11). Meanwhile, SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted several ESPN personalities have started to address the addition of a rival channel. Bill Simmons delivered a "straight right to Fox Sports 1 on Saturday night followed by a solid Fox Sports 1 counter followed by an uppercut from SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross mocking Fox Sports 1 executives for mentioning the word 'fun' in every interview" (SI.com, 8/11).
STRAIGHT CASH, HOMEY: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying that former NFLer Randy Moss "has a tentative deal" to join FS1. The agreement "isn’t finalized, but no glitches currently are expected." Moss is expected to contribute to FS1's "Fox Football Daily," a show that will feature Curt Menefee, Jay Glazer, and former NFLers Brian Urlacher and Ronde Barber. Moss also could "appear on the new all-sports network on Sundays, too" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/9). Meanwhile, Fox announced former MLBer Gabe Kapler is joining the net as an analyst for "Fox Sports Live" (Fox).
BIDDING WAR: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote with Fox willing to cut a 12-year deal worth $100M annually with the USGA, "double what NBC was paying, imagine what they will pay for a sport that actually attracts big-time eyeballs -- like the NBA?" With Fox "opening the vault to acquire product for Fox Sports 1 ... ESPN and Turner are going to be forced to pay more than they ever expected to retain their NBA packages" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 8/10).