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Fox Sports 1 to reach Cox customers in mid-August
[May 30, 2013]

Fox Sports 1 to reach Cox customers in mid-August

NORFOLK, May 30, 2013 (The Virginian-Pilot - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Cox Communications will offer Fox Sports 1 -- a startup network that plans to compete with sports broadcasting giant ESPN -- to subscribers in southeastern Virginia beginning Aug. 17.

That's good news for Old Dominion University, which joins Conference USA on July 1. The league's football and men's and women's basketball games will be a part of the new network's programming.

South Hampton Roads has a number of cable/satellite providers, but Cox is the dominant provider of cable television in South Hampton Roads.

"It was a matter of great timing that it worked out that way," said Emma Inman, a Cox spokesperson.

For Cox customers who subscribe to the TV Essential package, Fox Sports 1 will replace the Speed Network on channel 63. Some of Speed's current programming will continue on Fox Sports 1, said Hobie Ritzel, product marketing director for Cox.

ODU officials are still lobbying Cox to carry the regional Fox sports network that offers a number of Conference USA events.

"We don't have that on our radar right now," Ritzel said, adding that Cox officials have heard little demand from customers for Fox Sports Carolinas -- the closest regional network to Hampton Roads.

"But that may change with the changes at ODU." ODU athletic director Wood Selig said he's thrilled that Cox will carry Fox Sports 1.

"It's terrific news," he said. "One of our primary objectives after joining Conference USA was to try and ensure that as many Hampton Roads residents as possible could access the various platforms that carry Conference USA content." Fox Sports 1 will carry Big 12, Pac-12 and Conference USA football and basketball and Big East basketball. It will also have weekly highlights shows for Conference USA and other conferences.

The network, which is expected to be available in 90 million homes, will carry auto racing, eventually to include NASCAR. In 2014, it will begin televising Major League Baseball.

The CBS Sports Network, Conference USA's other primary TV partner, already is carried by Cox.

Selig said ODU officials continue to negotiate with Cox officials in hopes of persuading them to pick up Fox Sports Carolinas. Selig said of the 16 metropolitan areas in which Conference USA teams are located, Hampton Roads is the only one without a regional Fox Sports network.

Harry Minium, 757-446-2371, ___ (c)2013 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) Visit The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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