News Corp. to Launch Cable Sports Network in August

Disney‘s (NYSE:DIS) ESPN will soon have a new sports channel rival.

An unnamed insider source tells Bloomberg that News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) plans to launch its own sports channel — predictably named Fox Sports 1 — in August, just as the college football season kicks off.

In addition to college football, the new Fox channel will also carry UFC mixed martial arts matches, NASCAR races, Major League Baseball, soccer and basketball games. Other media reports indicate that former daytime talk show host Regis Philbin will host his own sports-talk show on the new network.

News Corp. announced last year that it will split into two companies, separating its publishing and broadcast businesses. Rupert Murdoch will remain chairman of both companies.

Reports that News Corp. would launch its own sports network have circulated since last year. However, the new network will face a market crowded with rivals beyond EPSN, including CBS’s (NYSE:CBS) CBS Sports Network and Comcast‘s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) NBC Sports Network.

Shares of Disney climbed more than 1% in Monday morning trading, while News Corp. rose fractionally.

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