SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR FOX SPORTS
Big Events Dominate Saturday Nights from April to December
Almost 100 Hours of MLB, College Football, NASCAR, NFL & UFC Scheduled
New York & Los Angeles — As the song goes, Saturday night’s alright for fightin’ … and kickin’ … and racin’ … and pitchin’ … and hittin’. Sorry Elton.
Over the last several months FOX Sports has methodically developed an unprecedented prime time sports broadcast schedule on Saturday nights beginning this month and extending into December. Utilizing an enviable combination of college football, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, NFL and UFC events, FOX Sports has a big-time sports event scheduled on 28 of 32 Saturday nights from April 14 through December 8.
After the run kicks-off on April 14 with NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Texas, FOX comes back with prime time NASCAR Sprint Cup races from Richmond on April 28 and Darlington on May 12. Sandwiched in-between is this year’s second UFC on FOX event, live from Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. Afterward, the schedule into early summer is dominated by Baseball Night in America, MLB on FOX’s unprecedented eight straight weeks of prime time Saturday baseball. After a mid-summer UFC event in Los Angeles on Aug. 4, the network goes on a 15-consecutive week Saturday night tear starting Sept. 1 and ending Dec. 8, bolstered by college football and highlighted by World Series Game 4 on Oct. 27, the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Dec. 1 and wraps with a UFC on FOX event on Dec. 8.
“We see Saturday nights as the perfect home for quality sports programming, especially in spring and fall,” said Eric Shanks, Co-President and COO, FOX Sports Media Group. “We’ve been working hand-in-hand with our entertainment division and partners, and we’ve put together a solid schedule that gives us a consistent Saturday night franchise for the first time ever.”
The schedule is led by 12 college football contests (to be announced) plus the Big Ten Football Championship Game, and eight regular-season Major League Baseball games plus Game 4 of the World Series. Those 22 events form the backbone of FOX Sports’ Saturday prime time experiment, rounded out by three NASCAR Sprint Cup races and three UFC events. Altogether, the 28 upcoming dates combine for approximately 100 hours of live sports programming, and the number swells to over 100 when the UFC on FOX event on Jan. 28 and Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 18 are included.
In addition to FOX Sports’ prime time Saturday night schedule, the network also has as many as 20 more nights of prime time sports in 2012, a figure which includes the already played Cotton Bowl (Jan. 6), NFC Championship Game (Jan. 20) and re-scheduled Daytona 500 (Feb. 27). MLB on FOX postseason coverage dominates this slate, with as many as six NLCS and six World Series games possible, plus July’s jewel, the 83rd MLB All-Star Game accounting for 13 of the 19. NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend in May, two NFL preseason games in August and the Pac-12 Football Championship Game on Nov. 30 round-out the schedule which has the potential to add almost 70 prime time hours to the 100 scheduled for Saturdays.
FOX SPORTS 2012 SATURDAY NIGHT PRIME TIME SCHEDULE
Jan. 28 UFC
Feb. 18 NASCAR (Bud Shootout)
April 14 NASCAR (Texas)
April 28 NASCAR (Richmond)
May 5 UFC
May 12 NASCAR (Darlington)
May 19 Baseball Night in America
May 26 Baseball Night in America
June 2 Baseball Night in America
June 9 Baseball Night in America
June 16 Baseball Night in America
June 23 Baseball Night in America
June 30 Baseball Night in America
July 7 Baseball Night in America
Aug. 4 UFC
Sept. 1 CFB
Sept. 8 CFB
Sept. 15 CFB
Sept. 22 CFB
Sept. 29 CFB
Oct. 6 CFB
Oct. 13 CFB
Oct. 20 CFB
Oct. 27 World Series
Nov. 3 CFB
Nov. 10 CFB
Nov. 17 CFB
Nov. 24 CFB
Dec. 1 Big Ten Championship
Dec. 8 UFC