News Corp. Considering ESPN Rival Network, Contract Negotiations Already Being Discussed
If Rupert Murdoch has his way News Corp. under the leadership of Fox could soon be running its own national sports network that rivals the likes of Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN.
According to sources News Corp. officials are already working on rights from pay-TV carriers and sports organizations which would allow them to cover various sporting events while competing against ESPN. That same source claims that the company may convert its Fuel action-sports network into a national network.
If successful the network would be among an elite group of national sports networks that currently includes ESPN, NBC Sports Netrok and CBS Sports Network.
News Corp. already owns 20 regional sports networks and in 2011 they secured access to Pac-12 Conference and Big-12 Conference games. The company also secured World Cup rights for 2018 and 2022.
In the meantime it will be hard for any network to overtake ESPN which already owns the rights to Monday Night Football and various national baseball and basketball games.
Even if News Corp. doesn’t over take ESPN the money to be earned is potentially massive, for example ESPN will ask for $5.06 per subscriber per month this year from the likes of Comcast and DirecTV, the most of any cable channel.
In the meantime the Fuel sports network is already available in 36 million U.S. homes which could provide News Corp. with a great springing board for their efforts.
As it currently stands News Corp. is only entertaining the idea of a national sports network but the lucrative nature of the business likely means the company will move forward with its plans.