Fox Sports offers “make goods” to advertisers for FS1 rating shortfalls

November 7, 2013

Ad Age reports that Fox Sports 1 advertisers are receiving “make goods” due to “ratings shortfalls” on the new channel.  Some advertisers even received time during the World Series on Fox as a result.

The World Series ads made available were extra units made open during the game.  The regular ad inventory for the World Series was sold out.  This was made clear to avoid another issue (or beg the question) whether ad buys were down for the World Series this year. There is the discussion that if the disappointing ratings persist, ad buyers suspect “early pre-game inventory” for the Super Bowl would be made available.

Currently, FS1 primetime averages 261,000 total viewers.  In comparison, its predecessor, Speed received just 151,000 viewers during this time last year.  As we all know, the UFC is a big part of the new network.  We’ve also documented the downturn of ratings from live events to UFC Primetime/Countdowns to TUFs since appearing on the channel.

Media buyers, according to the article, are not giving up on the new network as they see it as an alternative to ESPN.  Thus, the “make goods” appear to be a way to appease the advertisers at this time.

Payout Perspective:

The initial read of a “make good” makes one jump to the conclusion that Fox is nervous about its new network.  This may be the case but there are still logical explanations for the extremely good customer service Fox is granting ad buyers. As pointed out, it is still too early to determine the viability of the network but Fox wants to ensure its commitment to it and it appears to be thanking the advertisers buy granting it high inventory spots in exchange for its patronage to FS1.  The one other big issue is that FS1 is still an alternative to ESPN and advertisers need some sort of leverage when negotiating ad buys.

11 Responses to “Fox Sports offers “make goods” to advertisers for FS1 rating shortfalls”

  1. Sampson Simpson on November 7th, 2013 6:41 PM

    As predicted… FS1 & FS2 will ultimately fail and UFC will go right along with it

  2. BrainSmasher on November 7th, 2013 7:20 PM

    The UFC is a proven brand. What they do on FS! will have nothing to do with their survival. They have good ratings on FOX, they have big numbers on PPV, and they had big numbers on Spike as well as good numbers on FX. This shows there is demand regardless what FS1 does. So they can easily get another TV deal even if it isn’t as lucrative as the FOX deal. The UFC can go to ION tv and have a better tv deal than any of the broken entities in Boxing.

  3. Jeremy on November 7th, 2013 8:49 PM

    Pretty much everyone with half a brain knew the first year was going to be rough. A number of the FS1 contracts don’t start until 2014 or 2015. Right now, they have a rather limited amount of live sports.

    It sucks for the UFC, but they have to ride it out. Fortunately for them, their overall TV revenue is up from a couple years ago. I also think it is part of the reason they are currently focusing on international expansion.

  4. Diego on November 8th, 2013 7:31 AM

    I don’t blame the UFC for this. Fox Sports is sucking. I agree with BS, if Fox Sports folds, the UFC will be able to find a TV deal elsewhere. Maybe not for $100M per year, but for a profitable amount.

  5. duck on November 8th, 2013 8:27 AM

    Fox Sports wont fold, they will just buy more sports rights and fans will eventually come over.

    The MLB deal starts in 2014, the NASCAR deal among others starts in 2015 and they will be big players in negotiations with Big 10 and NBA come 2016.

  6. Random Dude on November 8th, 2013 11:13 AM

    2014, 2015,and 2016 are not going to bring relief to FS1 and FS2. If they had started these channels 10 years ago maybe, certainly 20 or 30 years ago definitely, but not now.

    The television landscape has changed. New channels that do the same thing as the old channels are not going to become popular “just because”. Ratings for ESPN, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR are down, so why would that cause a surge of people to add to their cable bills to get FS1 and FS2? Not to mention all of the other media and entertainment choices people have out there. NBCSports, CBSSports, Comcast Sports, FS1, FS2, are never going to make much of an impact. They should have created and pushed those channels back when cable tv was more important to people’s daily lives. FS1 will be happy if they could ever get OWN ratings consistently.

  7. duck on November 8th, 2013 3:39 PM

    Ratings for those sports are down because they are on cable a lot more now but even with ratings down from say 10 years ago, they are still making way more money today because if you are watching something live, you can’t skip adverts.

    with more marquee sports, Fox Sports 1 will get people to start checking out the channel more to see what game is on, it then slowly becomes more of a habit and thus total viewing figures will go up.

    The cable companies, if they don’t do it already will start putting the likes of Fox Sports 1 and NBCSN etc next to ESPN, which should help ratings as well.

  8. BrainSmasher on November 8th, 2013 4:42 PM

    Agree with Duck. Also as those other properties come in. It will boost ratings across the board. One thing that hurts the UFC right now is FS1 doesn’t have anything else on the network that brings ratings. But I noticed that because the UFC is on, I end up watching many of the programs that FS1 has to offer. Basically their version of “Sportscenter” and all the other talk shows they do. I have now gotten used to the style and personality of the hosts. Its takes getting used to. But I don’t watch ESPN anymore. Im sure many UFC fans have done the same. As other Sports fans come in for NASCAR and MLB they will follow these others shows as well. What this does is create a following on the network that can be reached by FS1 ads for the UFC or who are watching the network when a UFC event comes on and they don’t change the channel. That is something the UFC hasn’t had on Fuel or FS1 or 2. When a UFC program comes in. It is on a dead channel. That means there is no lead in at all. No one already watching the network. So any viewers you get you have to bring every single one of them in. Where as Bellator has a big lead in and as much as 50% of more of their ratings are people who were already watching Spike TV for something else. They didn’t tune in specifically for the fights.

    Jeremy is right. I think the UFC knew it would going to be tough starting out waiting for FS1 to get all the other sports going. So they have really been hitting other countries very hard and spitting out live events for FS1. They need events for the network until the other sports come in and they know ratings are not going to be great. What better time to give events to other countries? The last few years they have all but stopped going to new countries.

  9. Chris27 on November 8th, 2013 7:35 PM

    Doesn’t look good for my UFC, FS1&2 are garbage.

  10. Sampson Simpson on November 9th, 2013 4:55 PM

    Brainsmasher isnt very smart… the most obvious statement of this century

  11. Sherm on November 10th, 2013 3:45 PM

    @Duck

    The Big 10 is a joke. Until Ohio starts playing better teams, and Michigan stops losing to the Appalachian State’s of the world. Fox is a joke.

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