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May 20, 2013

ESPN Isn’t Afraid Of Fox Sports 1

by Jared

Fox Sports 1 launches on August 17, and it seems like a legit threat to ESPN. However, ESPN President John Skipper doesn’t seem to threatened by Fox.

“The guys at Fox are smart and we are respectful of what they do but you heard from us a significant level of confidence,” Skipper said. “We like what we have and we like our ability to compete. Two things matter at the end of the day: What is your level of distribution and what subscription fees are you getting from that, and what is the live content that you have to put on that fans want? I would ask everybody writing all of these stories about competition to look at what we actually have and what they actually have before there’s any discussion about a head-to-head competition.”

Skipper makes a good point. While Fox Sports Live very well could challenge SportsCenter, the actual network will have a long way to go. When you take into account all the live programming ESPN has, Fox just can’t compete.

Many of Fox Sports’ rights are also utilized on Fox, not their sports channels, too. They’re not switching NFL to Fox Sports 1, so that doesn’t help as much as it seems. Basically, ESPN wins. People will always watch ESPN, because people will always watch the NBA, NASCAR — all of these 17 million sports that they broadcast.

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