Fox Launching New Sports Saturday Night

Broadcasting & Cable’s Jon Consoli is reporting that Fox Sports & Fox Entertainment will collaborate on primetime live sports programming starting in mid-April on Saturday nights:

“Fox is hoping to change the Saturday-night broadcast network landscape in a major way by offering more than 100 hours of primetime live sports programming stretching 28 weeks, from April 14 through Dec. 8. It’s not quite the new cable Fox Sports Network that some predicted Fox parent News Corp. would be creating, but it will offer an unprecedented amount of primetime sports on mostly consecutive Saturdays through 2012. The entire Saturday sports programming package has been in the planning stages for more than a year, as Fox Sports had to acquire rights and permissions to air certain games and events on Saturday nights.”

Saturday nights have long been the worst night of the week for TV ratings but rather than chalk it up to being a throwaway evening, Fox is trying to own the night with a unique live sports package that will include NASCAR, UFC, MLB & PAC-12 college football. While some stations gravitate away from Sports, Fox sees it as their ace in the hole.

Major League Baseball is one of the live events finding a home on Fox Saturday nights

“We want to see why people are not watching television on Saturday nights,” Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said. “Is it that no one is home on Saturday night or is it that there is nothing on that people want to watch? We are hoping that if we create a beachhead on Saturday night with sports, people will be there to watch.”

Ratings have historically been so poor on Saturday nights that advertisers have gravitated away from it, but live sports present a different opportunity. In the DVR world that we live in, advertisers love live sports because more viewers watch as an event unfolds and suffer through the commercials. The same can’t be said for sitcoms.

This is just another example of Fox being aggressive with their sports programming and seeing things differently than most other networks. If rumors turn to truth and Fox is in the planning stages for a 24 hour sports network to compete with ESPN, it should be a big win for sports fans everywhere.

Subscribe / Share

Article by Brian Clapp

Authors bio is coming up shortly. Brian Clapp tagged this post with: , , , Read 112 articles by
2 Comments Post a Comment

Leave a Reply

Find Sports TV Jobs

Job Category:

Sports TV Jobs Recommended Vendors

Most Popular Posts