Hoping to bite into ESPN’s dominate share of the sports television market, FOX Sports 1 will launch its first full day of coverage beginning Saturday at 6 a.m. Eastern Time.
Looking to directly compete with "the Worldwide Leader," FOX Sports 1 landed deals with three of the major television providers in DirecTV (a subsidiary of News Corp., like the sports channel), Time Warner Cable, and Dish, according to the L.A. Times.
The inaugural day will include college football, live coverage of NASCAR at Michigan, an interview with New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, and several Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts highlighted by Maurico “Shogun” Rua versus Chael Sonnen in the main event.
Following the weekend, the network will then look to veteran television personality Regis Philbin and a pair of young reporters to anchor the weekday hours.
Philbin will host a show similar to ESPN’s rundown-of-the-day “Pardon the Interruption,” and according to the Big Lead, a behind-scenes clip of the show entitled “Crowd Goes Wild” has been leaked.
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Known best for his morning talk show with Kelly Ripa and Kathie Lee Gifford, Philbin has mostly held down guest host duties on a variety of shows since retiring in 2011. He’s even appeared on ESPN’s lauded and maligned “First Take,” but this will be his first full-time job in two years.
The new channel also snagged former ESPN hosts and reporters Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson, who were featured in a vignette showcasing the new studio and their early camaraderie. Andrews will host “Fox College Saturday,” while Thompson will anchor “Fox Sports Live.”
Balancing hard-hitting sports news with a more “fun” side than ESPN, a bevy of since-retired superstar athletes will routinely join Thompson, including NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb, All-Star NBA point guard Gary Payton, and former U.S. Open tennis champion Andy Roddick.
One original program called “Being,” will feature former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and his everyday life. It is scheduled to premiere on Aug. 22.
Every major provider (DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable, Comcast) has picked up FOX Sports 1 in HD.
TWC on channel 774; DirecTV on channel 150; Dish will also be channel 150; Verizon Fios on channel 583;
TWC on channel 468; DirecTV on channel 219; Dish on channel 150;
Comcast on channel 237; DirecTV on channel 219; Dish on channel 150
Comcast on channel 601; DirecTV on channel 219; Dish on channel 150
A full list of markets, providers and channels can be found here.