For months, the worst kept secret in sports broadcasting has been the launch of Fox Sports 2 aside Fox Sports 1 on August 17th. Fox Sports has already announced the rebranding of Speed Channel into Fox Sports 1 and the promotional campaign is in overdrive just 9 days ahead of the launch. However, little has been said about Fox Sports 2. It has long been reported that Fuel TV will be rebranded as FS2, yet there's been nothing in terms of official announcements or confirmation coming from the folks in Los Angeles.
There have been a couple revelations about Fox Sports 2 being a reality, though. The most notable is a UFC announcement regarding a Fight Night card in Manchester, England airing October 26th on FS2. Also, as World Soccer Talk unearthed, a Q&A on FoxSoccer.com reveals Fox Sports 2 as, "an extension of FOX Sports 1 that features live coverage of sporting events and connects with fans through entertaining studio shows and original programming."
But the clearest sign of all of Fuel's rebranding as Fox Sports 2 actually comes on the Fuel TV website. There we finally find confirmation that the channel will become Fox Sports 2 on August 17th, the day Fox Sports 1 also launches:
The promo says Fox Sports 2 will be home to various UFC shoulder programming in addition to some live fights. Also, the link leads to another Q&A similar to the one on Fox Soccer's website, but dealing more with Fuel TV programming. Regarding the upcoming FS2 schedule, it's revealed: "You’ll see a variety of programs that ran on FUEL TV carry over to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, including the Red Bull X-Fighters World Freestyle Motocross Tour, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships, and more."
Additionally, the Fuel TV online schedule ends August 17th in the wee hours of the morning. Speed Channel officially becomes Fox Sports 1 at 6 AM ET August 17th and it looks like that's when Fuel will make the switch to Fox Sports 2 as well.
We can finally stop the speculation. Fuel TV is becoming Fox Sports 2. It just so happens that in lieu of an official announcement, Fox has confirmed it places you have to search to find.
UPDATE (5:30 PM ET): Fuel TV's Twitter page has now made the Fox Sports 2 rebrand official as well.
— FUEL TV (@FUELTV) August 8, 2013