Wednesday December 6, 2023

Rupert Murdoch’s Exit Leaves Lasting Fox Sports Legacy

  • Murdoch's son, Lachlan, to now lead the company in a singular role
  • Lachlan Murdoch has already been active helping manage Fox Sports' right relationships
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Rupert Murdoch’s monumental decision to step down as chairman of his Fox Corp. and News Corp. caps off a historic, and often controversial seven-decade career — one that included the establishment of America’s fourth major broadcast network on the back of major sports rights.

But for the current and future operation of Fox Sports, little is expected to change. Murdoch’s son Lachlan will be the sole chairman of News Corp. and continue as Fox Corp. executive chair and CEO, effective in November. 

“The time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan,” the elder Murdoch said in a memo to company staff.

The network is currently tied into long-term rights contracts with the NFL, MLB, several college conferences, NASCAR, FIFA, and several horse racing events, with the NFL pact stretching through 2033. 

Lachlan Murdoch has played an active, direct role in helping manage many of those relationships in recent years, including meeting with league commissioners and team owners, as well as speaking out on sports media trends. Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks recently met with FIFA president Gianni Infantino at a Dallas Cowboys game and also remains crucially involved in company operations.

The 92-year-old Murdoch said he will be actively involved in network operations on a more informal basis as chairman emeritus.

“In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas,” Murdoch said. “Our companies are communities, and I will be an active member of our community.”

Changing Sports TV Landscape

Three decades ago, it was Rupert Murdoch’s decision to overpay for the NFL’s NFC TV package in a four-year, $1.6 billion deal that put the then-struggling and often-overlooked network on the map, snatching the rights from incumbent CBS Sports.

The deal was not rational in pure market terms at the time, but the decision ultimately changed the network and entire sports TV landscape forever.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

London Calling: Another Premier League Club Weighs a Stake Sale

Brentford FC is reportedly considering a stake sale.
Oakland Athletics center fielder Esteury Ruiz (1) tosses the ball to left fielder Brett Rooker (25) after making an out against the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Where Will the A’s Play After Next Year? It’s Getting Complicated

Roster development, RSN money further cloud an already-complex decision.

NHL's Projected Record Salary Cap Reflects Revenue Surge (and Resilience)

Increased media revenue, rising attendance fuel post-pandemic recovery.

Seminoles’ CFP Snub Opens New Front in Disney vs. Florida War

Florida lawmakers are already considering legislation to protest the College Football Playoff's exclusion of Florida State.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NCAA Opens Door to Athlete Compensation


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers
ESPN Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith to ESPN: ‘I Want To Be Highest-Paid Talent’

With a No. 1 show, Stephen A. Smith wants to become number one in compensation.
English Premier League teams Leeds United and Brighton Hove & Albion in action during a match.
December 4, 2023

Premier League Reasserts Dominance With $8.5B Domestic Rights Deals

Deals achieve small rights fee increase for top European league.
The Australia men's cricket team celebrating winning the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
December 4, 2023

Amazon Secures ICC Cricket Broadcast Media Rights in Australia

Prime Video will be Australia's exclusive home for ICC events through 2027.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium.
December 4, 2023

Amazon Bounces Back With Record Viewership

The Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Seattle Seahawks averaged 15.26 million viewers.
Peyton Manning on the ManningCast
December 4, 2023

ESPN’s ManningCast Goes Double: Two MNF Games, Two Brothers, One Epic Show

Peyton and Eli Manning will call two “Monday Night Football” games at the same time on Dec. 11 as ManningCast expands across ESPN.
December 1, 2023

Formula 1's Growth Hits A Speed Bump With U.S. Viewers

Races on ESPN were down 8% from 2022.
December 1, 2023

Would Disney's ESPN Walk Away From The NBA?

Will financial pressures impact the company's decision with a longtime partner?