News Corp is getting ready to take on ESPN the way it did the major broadcast networks when it launched the Fox TV network in 1986 and the established CNN news channel when it launched Fox News ten years later. On Tuesday it announced that it will kick off Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 17, featuring college football and basketball as well as NASCAR, professional soccer and, in 2014, baseball. News Corp President/COO Chase Carey told reporters that he gives it two to three years to become an alternative to ESPN, but he warned that it wouldn't make sense to try to beat ESPN. In a statement, Eric Shanks, co-president of Fox Sports Media Group, said that the cable network's goal is to provide the best in-game experience possible, complemented by informative news, entertaining studio shows and provocative original programming. The network will also restore Regis Philbin on daily TV; he'll host Rush Hour at 5:00 p.m. ET. By and large, financial analysts hailed the move, although warning that the network will likely operate in the red for many years before it becomes a sizable alternative to Disney-owned ESPN. Investors, who had already boosted News Corp's stock to a 52-week high, pushed it slightly higher in early trading today (Wednesday) to $30.80. Its previous 52-week high had been $30.64.
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