With Fox Sports 1 and 2 scheduled to launch this Saturday, August 17, and NBC’s coverage of the Premier League beginning on the same day, we figured now would be a good time to update the What You Pay For Sports web app, which is located on this site’s front page.
The first thing you might notice is that we’ve removed Fox Soccer from the channels list, as that channel is going away and the soccer properties Fox still has will move to its new networks. That’s the only real change on the left-hand side.
On the right-hand side, we’ve added a handful of new boxes, including:
- FIFA, which is in the last year of an 8-year, $100 million deal with ESPN for the World Cup through 2014.
- UEFA, which has one deal with Fox for the Champions League and another with ESPN for the European Championship.
- UFC, which is moving from the soon-to-be-rebranded Fuel TV to Fox Sports 1 and 2.
- Several college conferences, including Conference USA, the Mountain West, and the newly formed American Athletic Conference, which contains the football remnants of the old Big East. The new basketball-centric Big East is represented here as well.
We’ve also updated the numbers used to calculate how much all these organizations take from your annual cable bill. You can see those updated tables here. You’ll notice we now list the number of homes for each channel in the thousands, rather than the millions. That’s in part thanks to this bit of research by Zap2It. A few numbers on our table are still based on other reports from around the web, but for the most part, we’re shooting for the most accurate numbers we can find. For example, the Zap2It numbers show that ESPN and ESPN2 are in just under 99 million homes, rather than 100 million, and since overall cable subscriptions are down slightly since Zap2It published those numbers, we’ll go with what they have for now until they publish a new list.
For the time being, the app calculates the Fox Sports 1 numbers based on Fox’s launch estimate of 90 million homes. As of today, however, Fox still has not finalized carriage deals with DirecTV, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable for the new network. That means the channel might only launch in 49 million homes this weekend — and since Fuel TV will be rebranded as Fox Sports 2 this weekend, it’s entirely possible that all three carriers could end up carrying Fox Sports 2 before they carry Fox Sports 1.
Deals will get done, though — likely by the start of football season, if not by August 17 — because these deals always get done, and pay TV subscribers always get the honor of footing the bill for them. That’s part of the reason we built this web app in the first place — to show you how merely subscribing to cable or satellite TV forces you to foot the bill for modern sports, whether you watch any of these sports networks or not. Pro and college sports both rely heavily on your cable and satellite dollars for their revenue. What happens when people who don’t watch sports get tired of paying for them, and those revenue streams start drying up? If rising pay TV bills convince enough people to cut the cord, we just might find out.
UPDATE (August 14): Turns out Fox Sports 1 got those deals done before August 17 after all.