SPEED Channel to become national sports network

Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Fox is expected to unveil plans for a national sports cable channel to rival ESPN early next year.

People close to the plans said Fox plans to rebrand its motorsports channel SPEED, which is based in the University area.

Fox has already begun positioning itself with talks to renew rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers and buying a stake in the Yankees’ YES Network.

The idea reflects ESPN’s outsized share of subscription fees split with cable and sattelite TV operators, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to market researcher SNL Kagan, ESPN’s flagship channel brings in four times as much revenue from these fees as the next biggest channel.