Fox Sports 1 should launch with few hiccups Saturday as Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, DirecTV and Dish all have agreed to show the new network that will replace Speed.
The SportsBusiness Journal
reported Wednesday night DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House will carry the channel even if they have not finalized carriage agreements by Saturday. The Los Angeles Times reported that Dish will do the same.
Speed is in nearly 86 million homes, and Fox Sports 1–anchored by NASCAR, baseball, college sports and UFC –is expected to be in 90 million homes at its launch Saturday as it should be carried by all major cable operators and satellite operators.
According to the SportsBusiness Journal, Speed costs about 23 cents each month per subscriber, and Fox was looking to increase that to 80 cents per month at launch.
NASCAR programming will be some of the first programming the network is scheduled to deliver. Originating from Michigan International Speedway, Fox Sports 1 will air NASCAR Live at 8 a.m. Saturday followed by Sprint Cup Series practice at 8:30 a.m., Camping World Truck Series qualifying at 9:30 a.m., Cup practice at 11 a.m., the truck pre-race show at noon and the race at 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, NASCAR RaceDay is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Fox Sports 1 and then NASCAR Victory Lane is set for 7 p.m.
MIS President Roger Curtis expressed confidence earlier Wednesday that agreements will be reached.
“We know our friends from Fox are working very closely with the cable providers to make sure the new Fox Sports 1 is available to as many fans as possible,” Curtis said. “And we’re confident they’ll work out all the contracts.”
Fox also is launching Fox Sports 2 this weekend in place of Fuel. Fox Sports 2 will have truck qualifying and modified race Wednesday from Bristol.
The changes also have provided angst for fans in Canada, where Fox Sports 1 has not yet gotten approval. The Speed channel that remains on Canadian television providers will carry the Fox Sports 1 coverage from Michigan.