ESPN, America's largest sports channel is having to battle Fox, now with a big foot in the sports arena as well. Sports center is ESPN"S flagship show, and it is where ESPN acquires the majority of its viewers/revenue. This year alone it had over 828,000 viewers. However, while this number may seem large, it dropped from last year's 1 million viewers. What is the cause of the drop in viewers?
The answer to that question is Fox. It now has had great success with its Fox Sports 1. It is currenly averaging between 100,000 and 160,000 viewers and the numbers are growing. Besides that it is advertising heavily on various networks, including 90 minute commercials as well as ads in social media.
ESPN is aware of the pressure that Fox is impossing and will not be left behind. One of the newest innovations for ESPN is broadcatsing commercials in other channels besides ESPN like adultswim, Spike and DirecTV. Besides that it plans on spending a significant amount of money sponsoring the World Cup. To top it off, it is building a brand new 10,000 square foot studio claiming that it "will completely revolutionize the way we produce and anchor the show."
Personally I think that this will be a very interesting battle. Even though the numbers clearly show ESPN as a lead, I find that with heavy advertising, Fox has the capacity to become a much closer competitor to ESPN. I find that there will be a great deal of advertising from these two companies. I wonder however if Fox will have a high advertising budget for the World Cup.