On Tuesday in New York, FOX officially unveiled its long-held, widely rumored plans to launch a cable sports network that, they hope, will one day soon rival ESPN. It has been named "FOX Sports 1" and will send out its signal for the first time on Saturday, August 17.
On that day, one of its first live programming options will be the UFC. The promotion will produce a "Fight Night" for the occasion, and from then on, expect to see plenty of the UFC on the new channel. According to information from FOX, the new sports channel will feature Fight Nights as a staple of Wednesday night programming. The network could not immediately provide further details about the frequency of events. They did, however, note they would air through 2014. (UPDATE: Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch reported that FS1 would air 12 Wednesday night events through 2014, and that each event would air from 8-11 p.m.)
FOX Sports 1 will also import UFC Tonight from sister station FUEL TV as weekly programming. In addition, all pay-per-view and FOX event preliminary cards will air on the channel. Finally, the network will have access to hundreds of hours of the UFC's tape library.
FOX Sports 1 will be replacing the auto-racing themed Speed channel on the dial. That will make it available in roughly 86 million homes around the nation at its launch.
The channel also has deals in place to broadcast college basketball, college football, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, and soccer. They will also launch a news show called "FOX Sports Live," that will center on major sports coverage.