Fox Targeting FS1 to Be Profitable By 2016

Fuel TV to Rebrand as Fox Sports 2 Simultaneous with FS1 Launch
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During 21st Century Fox's investor day in Los Angeles Thursday, Fox Sports Media Group copresidents Eric Shanks and Randy Freer said they are targeting Fox Sports 1 to be profitable by 2016.

"We're no longer reliant on any one individual rights deal for the success of Fox Sports 1," said Shanks.

During their presentation, Freer and Shanks maintained that Fox Sports 1 will be available in 90 million homes on the Aug. 17 launch date. The fledgling network still has not cut distribution deals with such major distributors as Time Warner Cable, Dish or DirecTV.

Freer also finally made it official about the heavily rumored companion net to Fox Sports 1.

"From the outset, Fox Sports 1 will have a companion network, Fox Sports 2, which will be a rebrand of Fuel TV," said Freer. "We believe in the value of this approach as it will leverage multiple live events, original and studio programming across both platforms."

Fuel TV's website also features a message in regards to the upcoming rebrand:

Shanks also said a main reason for the upcoming cable sports network was the ability to leverage it in upcoming rights negotiations. Late Wednesday, Fox inked a 12-year rights deal with USGA for the U.S. Open, beginning in 2015. It also widely expected that Fox will try to pry the NBA, whose rights deals expire following the 2015-16 season, away from either ESPN or Turner.

"We realized that to be competitive in future rights negotiations for premiere packages, we needed a fully distributed and highly rated national cable sports channel to be successful," said Shanks.