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Fox Sports 1's Strategy vs. ESPN: 'Jockularity'

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Sports 1 has a strategy for dethroning ESPN: fewer stats, more schtick. Are you ready for some Regis?
Regis Philbin lets fly
Regis Philbin lets flyPhotograph by Jeremy Liebman for Bloomberg Businessweek

Since ESPN launched the first 24-hour sports channel three decades ago, it has owned the cable sports business, free from serious competition. ESPN generates $9 billion a year for its parent company, Walt Disney, and it’s been so profitable for so long that it’s astonishing no rival has emerged. Various media companies have tried: Time Warner with CNNSI in 1996, and more recently Comcast with the NBC Sports Network. Neither became must-visit destinations because neither had enough must-see programming. It’s as if we’ve been living in a world with Coke but no Pepsi, McDonald’s but no Burger King, the New York Yankees with no Boston Red Sox.

David Hill, CEO, Fox Sports
Photograph by Jeremy Liebman for Bloomberg Businessweek