The launch for Fox Sports 1 is now 100 days away, and Fox has announced the lineup for the intial day of programming on August 17th. The good news is that there is 16 and a half hours of live programming on the first day of the channel's launch. The bad news is that the main sports on the day will be NASCAR and UFC, two sports that really lack the mainstream appeal that many were hoping for from Fox Sports 1 to start.
Launch day will begin with seven and a half hours of NASCAR coverage, beginning with a half hour presentation of NASCAR Live. That will be followed up with an hour of Sprint Cup practice for Sunday's race in Michigan (broadcast on ESPN), and an hour and a half of qualifying for the NASCAR Camping Series truck race that afternoon. After another hour of Sprint Cup practice, Fox Sports 1 will present the truck race, the first live sporting event on the network. Following the race, there will be an hour-long Trackside Live broadcast.
Following the conclusion of Trackside Live, FS1 will air an hour and a half of taped UFC coverage with broadcasts of Ultimate Insider and UFC Unleashed. Following the episode of Unleashed, FS1 will roll out UFC Tonight heading into five hours of live fights on the network, including the preliminary fights from the evening's card from Boston. No fights for the show have officially been announced, but there are rumblings that the UFC is trying to put together a main event of the inimitable Chael Sonnen and the legendary Wanderlei Silva.
The debut evening on FS1 will conclude with the debut of Fox Sports Live, and I'm assuming that new hires Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole will be manning the desk for the flagship broadcast on opening night.
On Monday, August 19th, FS1 will continue to debut daily programming, including the hour-long Crowd Goes Wild hosted by Regis Philbin at 5 PM eastern, followed by Fox Football Daily hosted by Curt Menefee and Jay Glazer. Monday also features the two hour debut of Monday Night Fights, featuring boxing from Golden Boy Promotions. UEFA Champions League coverage starts on Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st, and another NASCAR truck race will be live in primetime that Wednesday. The CONCACAF Champions League debuts in primetime on Thursday the 22nd.
The last week of August is where things will really kick into high gear, with a live, three hour UFC fight card on Wednesday the 28th during the debut of FOX UFC Wednesday Live, and weekday, primetime college football on Thursday the 29th and Friday the 30th. A college football tripleheader is also on the slate for August 31st, the first Saturday of the regular season, and is preceded by the debut broadcast of Fox College Saturday, which will directly compete with College Gameday on ESPN. There will also be UFC prelims slotted in between the second and third games of the tripleheader, and *another* live UFC fight card on FS1 on Wednesday, September 4th, which will lead into the debut season of The Ultimate Fighter on its new home.
While launch day isn't exactly a star-studded lineup, the first two weeks of FS1 will have something for everyone. With NASCAR, UFC, boxing, soccer, and football all on tap along with a variety of studio shows, FS1 definitely is heading in the right direction in advance of their launch, something that we really couldn't say about CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network.