Fox Sports 1 Challenge To ESPN Saturday Marks Historic Debut For TV Channel, SportsCenter at 11 PM Top Timeslot To Watch

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Aug 16, 2013 01:46 PM EDT
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Fox Sports 1 will launch on Saturday August 17 against ESPN as a 24-hour sports network and the show Fox Sports Live will debut at 11 pm."

Fox Sports 1will debut on Saturday as the biggest challenger to ESPN in the past decade and the company has brought in a number of high profile names to help, including Erin Andrews, Andy Roddick, Eddie George, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher as well as Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait, the popular hosts of "SportsCentre" in Canada.

The historic launch comes on Saturday and one of the biggest timeslot battles will be at 11 PM on weeknights between "SportsCenter" and "fox Sports Live" which will be hosted by Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait. The show has never had a legitimate competitor to go against and now Fox is going to try and take down the great white beast when it comes to nightly highlights and sports news.

A look at the schedule and more about Fox Sports 1 from Sports World Report:

Fox Sports 1 is getting ready to launch on Saturday and the most anticipated show on the debut day is the 11 PM premiere of "Fox Sports Live" with anchors Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait, since it is the program that will go directly up against ESPN and "SportsCenter."

Fox's biggest hires for the network apart from name athletes were Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait from TSN in Canada where they hosted "SportsCentre" to great fanfare. The two have been compared to the Olbermann-Patrick duo from ESPN years ago and the first show will be an event for Fox Sports 1 and the program is one they are building around with names like Regis Philbin, Bill Raftery, Gary Payton, Andy Roddick and Donovan McNabb hired to the network.

The channel will debut on Saturday and the company will broadcast a number of different sports and leagues, including Pac-12 football, college football, NASCAR, UFC, baseball as well as soccer and much more. The Fox Sports Live program is expected to be more loose and fun than SportsCenter and the two hosts are considered to be very funny and exactly what the network is planning. The duo have become stars on YouTube and now they will bring their skills to the United States.

FS1 will debut on Saturday August 17 in the morning at 6 AM and will take over for the channel previously called "Speed". The first day will have over 15 hours of live original programming and the first big event will be NASCAR at Michigan International Speedway and the network will have full coverage, including a NASCAR morning live show as well as practice runs and other races in the Camping World Truck Series. At the same time, the network is also launching Fox Sports 2 and that will be in the same vein as ESPN and ESPN2.

The company is still working out deals with some TV providers and they will be bringing a number of sports to the network, including soccer, college football, Major League Baseball, the NFL and more. The channel will broadcast Pac-12 games, Big Ten games, Big East games as well as over 5,000 hours of live coverage from events, including the World Cup. The channel will also broadcast the UFC as well as Conference USA and other programs include FA Cup; CONCACAF Gold Cup; CONCACAF Qualifiers, FIFA Women's World Cup coverage in 2015 and 2019; FIFA Men's World Cup coverage in 2018 and 2022.

The company offers a streaming app for Sports called Fox Sports GO that will launch with the channel and the biggest program on the first day will be Fox Sports Live with Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait, who were hired from TSN in Canada where they co-anchored "SportsCentre". The two are considered quality studio performers and the company likes their irreverent and funny style and feels it should translate to America.

Check here for the full schedule for Fox Sports 1.

The full schedule for the first day:

Saturday 8/17/2013

FOX College Football Kickoff 6am ET

Fantastic Finishes         7am ET

NASCAR Live, Michigan        Live - 8am ET

NCWTS Qualifying, Michigan Live - 9:30am ET

NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice, Michigan         Live - 11am ET

NCWTS Racing, Michigan       Live - 12:30pm ET

FOX Sports 1 on 1: Tom Brady           2:30pm ET

UFC Fight Night Prefight: Shogun vs Sonnen  Live - 5pm ET

UFC Fight Night Prelims: Shogun vs Sonnen   Live - 6pm ET

UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Sonnen    Live - 8pm ET

FOX Sports Live [Premiere] Live - 11pm ET

Fox Sports 1 is coming as a re-brand of the "Speed" network and will be broadcast in over 90 million homes after debuting on Aug. 17. Regis Philbin will host a new show on the network called "Rush Hour". Philbin will host a show called "Rush Hour", which will be a panel show in the same vein as "The View" with Barbara Walters, who Philbin spoke to on Monday. According to EW.com, the panel show has "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" producer Michael Davies is attached in a production role.

The news about the show was first reported by the New York Post, who wrote that Philbin will be joined by as-of-yet unknown Fox broadcasters and personalities to talk sports stories from throughout the day. The 81-year-old was formerly the host of "Live With Regis and Kelly."

Fox is the latest media company to join the 24-hour sports cycle, joining NBC and CNN, who have had less success than ESPN, who has been the number one sports network for a number of years.

"We think sports is a huge arena that has room in it to build a really attractive businesses," Chase Carey, News Corporation's president and chief operating officer told analysts on an earnings call last month, according to the NY Times. He said that the company recognizes the escalating costs of sports rights but "in a world of increasing fragmentation, we think sports continues to be a more and more important and unique part of that overall landscape."

ESPN has multiple channels on television as well as a huge presence on the Internet with ESPN.com and Grantland.com as well as espnW.com. The company makes $6 billion annually and has over 100 million subscribers.

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