FS1 Reaches Deals With Several Distributors, But Negotiations Continue With Others
Comcast, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, Verizon, AT&T and Suddenlink -- distributors that account for nearly 45 million subscribers -- have committed to carry FS1 on its Aug. 17 launch. That leaves DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks -- accounting for more than 47 million subscribers -- as distributors that do not have deals in place for FS1 yet even though its launch date is just four days away. All four distributors are in active negotiations for FS1, sources say. Time Warner Cable handles programming negotiations for Bright House. When Fox announced the channel earlier this year, it said it planned to launch FS1 into 90 million homes (John Ourand, Staff Writer). In Phoenix, Paola Boivin reports while FS1 officials "would not comment on distribution," sources said that it will "almost certainly be part of basic cable services and not require an extra fee." It is "common for carriage negotiations to go down to the wire, although, as the Pac-12 Networks learned from its ongoing standoff with DirecTV, agreement is no sure thing" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/13).
FILLING OUT THE CREW: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Tim Baysinger reported former NFLers Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher have joined FS1 and will contribute to "Fox Football Daily," the net's "weekday football show airing" at 6:00pm ET. They also will appear on the Sunday pregame show "Fox NFL Kickoff," which will air at 11:00am during the NFL season. Former NFLers Ronde Barber and Scott Fujita "have joined as well." "Fox Football Daily" also added Fox' Joel Klatt and the net's lead college broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Charles Davis. Petros Papadakis and Erin Andrews also will "make appearances on the show" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 8/12).
CROWDED FIELD: FS1's Jason Gay said the net's "Fox Sports Live" is going to be the "antithesis of 'SportsCenter'" and his show, "Crowd Goes Wild," will be the "afternoon component" for the net. Gay said FS1 will "return to the culture of fun." Gay: "It's just the idea of fourth quarters and overtimes and Game Sevens and bowl games and just the big, marquee moments in sports being fun." He added this is all "taking shape on the fly here." Gay: "This is a new network and these people on the programs all are fresh to television and they'll find a way. But people can expect something different" ("The Will Leitch Experience," SPORTSONEARTH.com, 8/12).