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You Were Right America, Fox Sports Should Have Never Replaced The Speed Channel


Last month, we joined America in mourning the loss of the institution that is The Speed Channel, as it pulled out of the garage for one last time. You responded overwhelmingly in opposition to the change, often sounding puzzled why in God’s name Fox would even bother touching your precious 24-hour automotive network. The higher-ups thought it’d work out best for everyone.

They were wrong.

The ratings are in and they’re not looking good for Fox Sports 1. This week one year ago, The Speed Channel pulled in around 253,000 viewers on average during the primetime 8pm-11pm time slot. Fox Sports 1 had 201,000. Gulp.

This is a big deal for two major reasons:

1. Fox Sports 1 costs exponentially more to produce than programming for the Speed Channel
2. Nobody wanted to see The Speed Channel go in the first place

Ladies and gents, this is what they call a lose/lose situation.

Not only did they fall short of the mark vis-a-vis last year’s numbers, but they failed horribly to measure up to their competition. I mean, it goes without saying that the decision to turn Speed into a 24-hour ESPN competitor was an singularly focused attempt at syphoning ratings from the sports megalith in Bristol. That did not happen. ESPN had 2,828,000 viewers during that same period. Once again, Fox Sports 1 had 201,000. That’s over 1000% more viewers than the fledgling network.

[Via USA TODAY] Fox Sports Exec David Hill: “It’s going to take us a while. We’re not expecting to knock ESPN off in the first week or two. It’s going to take two to three years. It will be a slog.”

You hear that? That’s the sound of everyone at Fox Sports 1 getting fired.

What’s worse, is that these disappointing numbers (understatement) come during the biggest month for sports television, as NCAA and NFL football seasons began during the measured period. Expect Fox to beef up it’s bid for the NBA TV rights when they become available in 2015, because the wheels are falling off this bus.

Anyone out there know how to replace a tire? Let us know what you think, guys.

H/T Jason Whitlock


  • sadsportsfan

    as a total sports guy, meaning i enjoy the competition and the structured play all sports bring. as such i enjoy all kinds of sports. except golf, thats a snoozefest for me.
    one of my favorite things was the speed channel because you could see all kinds of auto related shows and exciting non main stream racing . boats and out laws etc.
    when i heard this fox1 crap was coming i thought to myself why? espn already has 3 or 4 channels.why nuke speed? if you are going to go for espn then make a new channel, take over mtv ffs. or mtv2 or mtv3.. but noooooooooooo no more speed channel what west coast nincompoop thought taking auto sport off the air was a good idea? to be replaced by a sub par pale copy of whats already established?
    bring back the speed channel . please.

  • Anonymous

    You could try Discovery’s “Velocity Channel.”. Maybe it’s on your provider’s lineup around #783.

  • Incredulous Cred

    This article is idiotic. Yeah, big shocker, Foxsports1 got dominated in their first month by their 44-year old behemoth competitor; so now you’re writing an obituary?… Like them or hate them, Fox knows a thing or two about starting new networks and you don’t measure success after one month. It’s a long term investment. At one point the conventional wisdom said that FoxNews could never hang with CNN. Where are those voices of wisdom now?… Crickets… If anyone’s interested in some actual real information about the topic you can check out the following article:

    http://www.thewrap.com/fox-sports-1-exec-very-pleased-espn-not-worried/

  • c p

    count me gone. ……. actually don’t count me cause I’m gone

  • c p

    Good Morning and Good Bye to Fox Sports1

  • NOT HAPPY

    SPEED CHANNEL WAS THE BEST WHO NEEDS MORE FOOTBALL CHANNELS WE NEED SPEED CHANNEL BACK

  • Jerry Baustian

    Until a few years ago, Speed Channel was pretty good entertainment — that is, it often showed actual motor sport events. But towards the end there were only a few hours of racing on the schedule each week. Plus, to get Speed Channel on my cable channel (Comcast) I would have had to upgrade to a much more expensive package. There was just not enough content on Speed to make it worthwhile.

    Now Formula 1 is on NBC Sports, as part of an affordable cable package, and I’m not missing Speed at all. We’ll see what happens when the Dakar Rally rolls around in January — whether it is aired on any channel. But a 30 minute daily digest on Speed was nothing to get excited about.

    If cable networks can’t or won’t bring us the best auto racing from around the world, I guess we’ll just have to keep watching on bootleg Internet sites.

  • Afi Keita James

    Fuck Fox Sports 1.
    R.I.P. Speed channel

    time for discovery’s velocity.

  • joe

    I Upgraded My Tv Package To Get Speed, A Week Later It Was Gone. It Bad Enough That I Have To Pay For 500 Channels To Watch 3 But Now That Speed Is Gone Im Just Wasting Money

  • NED FOR SPEED DEPRIVED

    SILVER SPOON FED HEADS MUST ROLL! HAS ANY OF THESE EXECS. EVER TASTED DIRT IN THEIR BEER? WHERE IS SPEEDS REPLACEMENT? WHAT KIND OF FOOL LEAVES ALL THAT REVENUE ON THE TABLE? ALIENATION OF AN ENTIRE SEGMENT OF THE GRASS ROOTS POPULATION OF THIS COUNTRY HAS GOT TO BE CAUSE FOR RESTRUCTURING OF THIS ENTIRE ORGANISATION. ITS A COMPLETE AND ACCURATE SIMILE OF THE PROBLEM WITH OUR GOVERNMENT. ONCE SALARIES SURPASS 100K A TOTAL DISCONNECT OCCURS TO THE DAILY REALITIES OF AVERAGE INDIVIDUALS STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE FROM ONE MONTH TO THE NEXT.

  • GUY P FRASER

    You should check out the REAL statistics.

  • el wurte

    Wll maybe Mav tv or even Velocity could go full blown motorsports and put a big finger in the eye of FOX Sports1, Oh i almost FOX Sports 2,maybe someone could step up to the task as there is an audiance out here for all forms of motorsports,as an example if you had decided to watch Nationwide pratice or Qualifing you must, wait for it,have FOX Sports2! who would have seen that comming?
    In the last 25 plus years we have had to upgrade packages to get all the race coverage as it was to watch,ESPN and TNN where the most common Newtworks for racing,then it was ESPN2 then you needed FX,ESPNU ESPN News, now you need NBC Sports network this comming season,can NBC Sports2 be far into the future.
    Hell a man will ned a television road map just to watch a lap of any kind as NBC has almost killed Indycar and you could at least watch Formula 1 on speed, not so much now .
    So i am done with this FOX Sports fiasco it is too much for my little brain to fathom as to why the demise of SPEED why not just start your sports network and then see who would buy into it,Hey this is a lot like OBAMA CARE!!!

  • 67carguy

    BRING BACK SPEED CHANNEL!

  • Michael Nguyen

    They need to fire everybody on crowd goes wild. Regis Philbin and his crew needs to go. Why the hell would i wanna hear them talk about sports. Stupidest suggestion ever for a tv show. Random people and celebrities talking about sports.

  • Jon

    Aw shit…that’s all we need is more #$@! football coverage. He mentioned “game” twice. Motorsports is not a “game”. They did not “switch” from speed to fox sports 1 they buried Speed and started a new “game” channel. I want my motorsports!

  • Race Mom

    FS1 really does suck. I can get football on more channels than I can watch – why do I need another one? Other than the football, it seems they’re trying to give everyone a little bit of something, but it’s not enough of anything. Why would I double my cable bill to get a few hours of Nationwide practice on FS2? I won’t. I want Speed Channel back.

  • Nick

    This is like if Fox Sports 1 went to prison and became ESPN’s BITCH and then was passed around for a pack of smokes. I would like to meet the execs that came up with this idea, oh, never mind they probably can’t form coherant sentences and are covered in drool.

  • Wisconsin Fan

    I like most of FOX Sports 1; the part I don’t like is the goofy stuff – feet up on the desk, stupid jokes, etc. FOX Sports Live with Carissa and the guys is great and in my opinion beats ESPN hands down. ESPN has been complacent and boring. I think when FS1 gets more game and race programming, works out some kinks and gets more experience they’ll be more than fine.

  • Anonymous

    FS1 has soccer & MLB in 2014 and yes FS1 is a challenger to NBCSN so wrong to think otherwise. FS1 is a pretty good network.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I read also on Adweek that FS1 ratings were better than Speed I don’t see FS1 beating ESPN not until a few years if that Rome isn’t built in a day. Fox Sports knew that.

  • FS1 is Still new

    What redneck wrote this? Did you say the same thing after ESPN’s first month? Then again if a redneck wrote this I don’t expect thought to into the writing process. So go have another PBR somewhere.


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