Fox Sports (United States)

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Fox Sports
Division ofFox Broadcasting Company
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
Major broadcasting contractsMLB
Pac-12 Sports
Big 12 football
Big East Sports
OwnerFox Entertainment Group
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This article is about the sports division of the Fox network in the United States. For other uses, see Fox Sports.
Fox Sports
Division ofFox Broadcasting Company
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California
Major broadcasting contractsMLB
Pac-12 Sports
Big 12 football
Big East Sports
OwnerFox Entertainment Group

Fox Sports is a division of the Fox Broadcasting Company, which is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. It was formed in 1994 with Fox's acquisition of broadcast rights to National Football League games. In subsequent years, it has televised the National Hockey League (19941999), Major League Baseball (1996–present), NASCAR (2001–present), Bowl Championship Series (20072010), the USGA Championships (starting in 2015), and the FIFA World Cup (starting in 2018).

Exclusive coverage[edit]

Fox Sports crew covering a NASCAR race.

Fox has become the exclusive home of the Daytona 500 after having alternated the event with NBC Sports throughout their first NASCAR contract. In partnership with co-owned motorsports cable network Speed, Fox has also broadcast the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and select Formula One races produced by Speed since 2007, and also carries two Camping World Truck Series races per season transferred from Speed, produced under the NASCAR on Fox brand.

Fox Sports has been the exclusive broadcaster of the World Series since 2000 and will continue to be through at least the 2021 season.[1] It is also the exclusive over-the-air broadcaster of Major League Baseball.

Since 2010, Fox has aired the final of the UEFA Champions League, the 2010 edition marked the network's first ever broadcast of soccer.[2]

In August 2011, Fox Sports announced it had reached a seven-year broadcast agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, ending the promotion's previous relationship with Spike. UFC programming airs on various Fox properties, including the Fox network (which will air four live events per year, the first of which priemiered in November 2011), FX and Fuel TV.[3] Fox previously carried events from UFC competitor International Fight League in 2007 on its sister network-turned-programming service MyNetworkTV under a time-buy arrangement until that organization was purchased by UFC; however no MyNetworkTV involvement was announced under the current UFC agreement.

On August 6, 2013, Fox Sports announced a 12-year deal to broadcast the three major open championships of the United States Golf Association, including the U.S. Open, beginning in 2015.[4]

Cable channels[edit]

In addition to the broadcast division, Fox owns numerous regional and national U.S. cable sports channels, which include:

2013 cable reorganization[edit]

National all-sports network: Fox Sports 1[edit]

Main articles: Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
Logo of Fox Sports 1.

Fox Sports Media Group formally announced the replacement of Speed as Fox Sports 1 on March 5, 2013, with a target launch date of August 17, 2013. The network will air content from MLB, UFC, NASCAR, soccer including the FIFA World Cup, and multiple college sports events including owning rights to Big East basketball and its annual postseason basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. As competition to ESPN's SportsCenter, Fox Sports Live will be a "24/7 news franchise providing around-the-clock coverage through regularly scheduled programs, hourly updates and an information-rich ticker that provides a network agnostic sports event television schedule." [5] Notable personalities on FS1 include Regis Philbin, Mike Tyson, Michael Strahan, Erin Andrews, as well as many other Fox Sports personalities.[6][7] The networks launched on August 17, 2013.

Closure of Fox Soccer[edit]

On September 2, 2013, Fox Soccer was replaced by FXX, an entertainment sister network to FX, and its sports programming was shifted over to Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 2. This would also remove all sports programming from FX.[8]

Regional sports coverage[edit]

Fox Sports Networks operates as a slate of regional sports networks with broadcasting agreements that follow league market distribution rules. For example, cable and satellite subscribers in Kansas City, Missouri receive Kansas City Royals games on Fox Sports Midwest, while viewers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin see Milwaukee Brewers games on Fox Sports Wisconsin. The regionalized coverage frequently restricts broadcasts of live sporting events outside of a team's home market.

Graphics, scoring bugs and theme music[edit]

The graphics and scoring bugs have won awards and changed the face of sports broadcasting in the United States.[citation needed] The opening notes of the NFL broadcast theme can be heard in every iteration of other Fox Sports broadcast themes. When the scoring bugs are upgraded, the previous versions were retained for one of its other properties for about a year. However, this practice ended in 2009. The first score bug was used for Fox's NFL coverage, then was expanded to baseball and hockey broadcasts.

One segment of the theme, coincidentally or otherwise, echoes the notes for the "giddyup, giddyup, giddyup, let's go" line from the Leroy Anderson-composed song, Sleigh Ride. Yet, the rhythm of that segment of both tunes is similar to that of the first four bars of both the first and second figures of the Johann Strauss Sr.-composed Radetzky March, which itself is similar to that of the finale of Giachino Rossini's overture to his opera William Tell. During Christmas-season broadcasts, Fox Sports broadcasts will sometimes acknowledge this fact by seguéing from the one tune into the other as they break for a commercial.

Beginning in October 2010, the NFL broadcast theme became the theme for all Fox Sports properties beginning with the that year's NLCS and NASCAR with the 2011 Budweiser Shootout. It is yet unknown if this includes the FSN affiliates, as their basketball, hockey, baseball, and college football broadcasts continue to use their own theme music.


By 2001, the score bug became a banner at the top of the screen and was simpler than today's. It was first utilized on Fox's NASCAR coverage that year with a new updated graphics package based on the 1998 design; the banner and updated graphics were then utilized on the network's MLB and NFL telecasts. It featured a transparent black rectangle, a baseball diamond graphic for baseball broadcasts on the far left, the team abbreviations in white with their scores in yellow boxes; the boxes were white for NFL broadcasts until Super Bowl XXXVI, when the boxes became yellow, Then the quarter or inning, time or number of outs, pitch count/speed (baseball broadcasts), and the logo of that certain Fox program, such as NFL on Fox or MLB on Fox on the far right.


Beginning with the 2003 NFL season, the banner was upgraded as part of a new graphics package. At first, the team abbreviations were replaced with the team logos, and the scores were white in black parallelograms. Unlike the previous version, the FoxBox would alternate between a black rectangle and several black parallelograms; however, it returned to being a black rectangle beginning with the 2004 NFL season, and the team logos would be later replaced with the team abbreviations in their primary colors (the team abbreviations in the colors would first be utilized on postseason baseball broadcasts that year). Whenever a team scores a point or a run, the team's score and logo would flash a few times. On the baseball broadcasts, the whole banner would flash, then the words "HOME RUN" and the team's name in the team's color zoom in to the center from both left and right. In late 2005, a new white banner resembling a chrome finish was introduced, and the team abbreviations became white letters in the team's main color; the new banner would then be expanded to NFL and NASCAR broadcasts.

The baseball broadcasts continued to use the 2001 scoring banners and graphics in 2004 until the network's coverage of that year's postseason.


Beginning with the 2006 NFL season, the scoring banner was upgraded again. This time it featured the real-time scores as a permanent fixture on the extreme right side of the bar, while the coloring of the banner changed to the colors of the team currently possessing the ball (the coloring of the banner was only on football broadcasts). The banner no longer flashes after runs, touchdowns, or field goals have been scored. On the baseball broadcasts, the diamond graphic appeared to be in the middle and has been slimmed down to just the three main bases, unlike other implements which included home plate. This banner, after being first used for NFL broadcasts in 2006 was eventually expanded to BCS, NASCAR, and baseball broadcasts; the baseball broadcasts, however, continued to use the late-2005 scoring banners and graphics in 2007. In 2008, NASCAR on Fox introduced a new camera embedded between turns 1 and 2 on the various tracks; it was soon called "Digger Cam" and a mascot gopher was unveiled along with it. In the 2009 season, Fox's baseball broadcasts dropped the 2006 graphics package entirely and adopted the new Fox Sports Net graphics which had debuted on baseball broadcasts across FSN affiliates that season. These were later re-positioned for widescreen in July 2010 when all Fox Sports high definition programming began to be presented completely in the 16:9 aspect ratio and letterboxed on standard definition feeds.

Fox Sports logo used from 2000 to 2012.


At the beginning of the 2010 NFL pre-season, Fox's football coverage debuted a new graphics package – an upgraded version of the 2006 design with a "much more colorful 3D look." The new graphics also marked a migration to Vizrt hardware for CG, providing producers with a more streamlined workflow for graphics.[9] The new design would be rolled out for Fox's racing coverage and the Speed network in 2011, at the start of the 2011 MLB season (where both Fox and the FSN networks would begin using it as well, excluding SportsSouth games simulcast by WPCH-TV and Root Sports – who used the previous FSN appearance), and on Fox Soccer.

Starting with the 2010 National League Championship Series, Fox began using its football theme music for its MLB broadcasts, to the confusion and dismay of some viewers. Division president Eric Shanks gave a rationale for the change, stating that the NFL theme music was more energetic than the previous music, and then announced that the NFL theme would now be used for all Fox Sports telecasts.[10]


A new Fox Sports graphics package was introduced for Fox's NASCAR coverage leading up to the 2014 Daytona 500. Fox Sports Midwest producer Max Leinwand described the look as being "cleaner" than the previous design.[11] The design has also been used to introduce new design conventions for some of Fox's graphics; for NASCAR, the running order ticker was replaced by a leaderboard-style display that was initially displayed as a vertical sidebar, while MLB coverage will use a new scoreboard positioned in the bottom-left of the screen instead of the top-left.[11][12]

HDTV coverage[edit]

For Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, Fox Sports produced its first telecast in a 16:9, 480p enhanced-definition format marketed as "Fox Widescreen": while promoted as having better quality than standard definition, and being the first U.S. sporting event produced completely in a widescreen format, it was not true high definition, but still matched the aspect ratio of HDTVs.[13][14]

Fox Sports began producing selected events in 720p high definition, starting on July 3, 2004 with the Pepsi 400, select NFL games, the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and that year's postseason. Fox would produce more telecasts in HD during the years following, but still fell back on 480p widescreen when needed for a period.[14][15]

As of late-July 2010, all sports programming broadcast by Fox networks began transitioning to a format optimized for 16:9 widescreen displays, with graphics framed within a widescreen safe area rather than the 4:3 safe area, intended to be shown in a letterboxed format on standard definition displays.[16]

Public service[edit]

In February 2008, Fox Sports announced a new charitable foundation called Fox Supports, which will give grants and marketing support for health-related causes. Each organization is tied to a specific events package seen on Fox Sports.[17]

The following are the charities supported in the history of the program:

2008-09 cycle (began with 2008 Daytona 500)[edit]

2009-10 cycle (began with 2009 Daytona 500)[edit]

Programs throughout the years[edit]

Current broadcast rights[edit]

Former broadcast rights[edit]

Future broadcast rights[edit]

Technological enhancements[edit]

Notable personalities[edit]





Studio hosts[edit]




Studio hosts[edit]


Main competitors[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "FOX Secures MLB Rights Through 2021". FOX SPORTS. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "FOX Sports Broadcasts UEFA Champions League Final on May 22 - Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  3. ^ Whitman, Mike. "UFC, Fox Announce 7-Year Broadcast Deal". Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Baysinger, Tim (August 7, 2013). "Fox Sports Reaches Rights Deal for Golf's U.S. Open". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fox Sports announces Fox Sports 1". Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Fox Sports Media Group Gives Rise To Fox Sports 1, A New National Multi-Sport Network (Press Release)". Fox Sports. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Fox Reveals Details of New National Sports Network, Variety, March 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "Fox Soccer to shut down and make way for youth network FXX". London: The Guardian. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Fox Sports moves from Chyron to Vizrt". NewscastStudio. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  10. ^ FOX Goes to Musical Bullpen for MLB Playoffs
  11. ^ a b "Media Views: McLaughlin's role expanded on Cards broadcasts". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Fox Sports plans to alter new race graphics". Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "FOX Sports to Present Super Bowl XXXVI In FOX Widescreen". 2002-01-07. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  14. ^ a b Drawbaugh, Ben. "Fox Widescreen is not HD!". Engadget. 
  15. ^ "FOX Sports to offer NFL, NASCAR, MLB coverage in HDTV". Broadcast Engineering. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Wolfley, Bob. "Fox Sports taking a wider view of football". Journal Sentinel. 
  17. ^ Fox Sports launches Fox Sports Supports
  20. ^ "NASCAR and FOX Sports Media Group Reach Expansive Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Rights Agreement". Fox Sports Media Group. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Fox picks up Big East basketball for 12 years". Reuters. 20 March 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c "FOX Sports announces major executive reorganization". Fox Sports. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. May 26, 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]