Fox Sports 1 launches Saturday in the midst of ESPN hiring liberal commentators, while blogs such as www.coldhardfootballfacts.com have to defend the very existence of college football. In response, Fox Sports 1 kicks off Saturday at 6 a.m. EDT with a college football program and uses its first prime time to showcase the brutally competitive Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which averaged 3.4 million viewers for network broadcasts last year.
While 3.4 million is not exactly a Super Bowl number, an analysis by Sherdog.com indicates that the average viewers for network UFC events is well above the 2 million averaged for network boxing.
The rest of the Saturday schedule includes a 1-on-1 with Tom Brady and plenty of NASCAR.
While Fox Sports 1 wants to put the fun back into sports, they may also be attempting to restore hard-hitting competition without apology or a liberal agenda. The hiring of formerly controversial football star Randy Moss could be followed at some point by the hire of one of Saturday’s fighters – Chael Sonnen – if USA Today is correct.
USA Today noted the focus on an exciting, trash-talking 36 year-old Sonnen in a fight could lead to him being a future commentator for Fox Sports 1, as he and his opponent Saturday are both .500 fighters.
Highlighting the UFC and unapologetic support of football as a hard-hitting sport could make Fox Sports 1 a rallying point for conservative sports fans, who are having to argue that competitiveness (and not participation trophies) are good for America. As one example, www.coldhardfootballfacts.com quoted from “Knute Rockne: All American:”
“Games such as football are more than merely helpful to boys. They’re an absolute necessity to the nation’s best interest,” said Rockne. “Every red-blooded young man in any country is filled with what we might call the natural spirit of combat.”