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Speed Channel to be rebranded as Fox Sports 1

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In News, Cable TV

New 24-hour sports channel to take on ESPN

 

Competition among sports channels will heat up this summer when Fox Broadcasting launches Fox Sports 1.

Industry experts say that Fox’s launch of Fox Sports 1 is an upfront challenge to industry-leader ESPN. The Speed Channel, a motorsports network, will be rebranded as Fox Sports 1 on Saturday, Aug. 17.

For 24 hours a day, FS1 will broadcast college football and basketball, NASCAR, world-class soccer, and ultimate fighting.

In its first year, the network will air nearly 5,000 hours of live competition and news. Fox owns rights to many Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA basketball and football games. Its soccer deals include UEFA Champions League and the men's and women's World Cups from 2015-22.

Starting in 2014, FS1 will start broadcasting Major League Baseball games, including part of the postseason. It will show some NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races as early as 2015, with other NASCAR events on the air from the startup.

NASCAR coverage previously on Speed and ultimate fighting events formerly on FX are being moved to FS1.

Regis Philbin will host Crowd Goes Wild, which debuts on Monday, Aug. 19. The program will feature a panel of hosts, similar to the ABC daytime talk show "The View," but with a sports twist. Philbin will play a Barbara Walters-type role on the panel.

FS1 will be available on Alliance Cable TV on the following channels:

  • Basic Cable TV: Channel 33
  • Digital Cable TV: Channel 38
  • High Definition: Channel 338

Click here for more information on FS1.

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