Coming soon: New Fox Sports cable network with MLB games; Fox execs remain coy

Fox’s press release about its new deal with Major League BaseballĀ all but said the network is going to launch a new sports cable channel.

The release said there would be “as many as 40 single-game windows on a nationally distributed Fox channel.”

The packages calls for only 12 regular season Saturdays games (8 in primetime) on Fox.

Yet Fox executives are remaining coy. During a conference call, Randy Freer, co-president of the Fox Sports Media Group, wouldn’t give it up.

“Throughout this deal, we have the flexibility for the distribution of games,” Freer said. “We continue to evaluate the potential for a national sports channel. We haven’t announced anything yet and don’t plan to today. When we’re ready to announce something, you guys will be the first to know.”

Another reporter on the call took a shot. He asked, “If you aren’t launching a network, where are those 40 games going to go?” That would seem to be a lot of games to put on FX, and I’m fairly sure MLB would want such a big package on a designated sports outlet.

“Again, we have the potential to keep games on Fox broadcasting and other potential Fox outlets,” Freer said. “As we’ve talked about our partnership with MLB, there will be a lot of things to come out in the not so distant future.”

Of course, that means a re-branding of Fox’s Speed channel into an all-sports network. Being able to show 40 baseball games will help the network get off to a good start.

As Freer said, we’ll be the first to know.


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