Two bits of rough news for Fox Sports 1 over the last two days. One, Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox reported a hefty drop in income—by more than $1 billion—thanks to the FS1 launch. All of that was most likely accounted for and anticipated.
What was not anticipated was what Ad Age described today as Fox Sports 1's "ratings shortfall." Fox Sports 1's ratings have apparently done poorly enough to force Fox Sports to offer advertisers "make-goods," which is, essentially, free commercial time for missing guaranteed ratings targets. They offered advertisers that space during the World Series. Ad Age reports:
Some advertisers on Fox Sports 1 are being offered time in Fox broadcasts such as college football games and pre-game and post-game NFL programming, the buyers said.
Some advertisers even received time in the World Series on Fox. And if FS1 continues to under-deliver, some buyers suspect very early pre-game inventory on Super Bowl Sunday could be made available.
Cripes. In better news, those advertisers will be heartened that Fox is giving away some free time for premium programming, and they'll be patient. After all, Ad Age reports, those advertisers apparently have a "vested interest in seeing the channel succeed as they look for a credible alternative to ESPN."