Fox Sports 1 to Debut With the Star Power of Regis Philbin

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17:  Regis Philbin attends a press conference on his departure from "LIVE! with Regis and Kelly" at ABC Studios on November 17, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images2011 Getty Images

A Tuesday story in the New York Times makes official what a News Corporation executive once called the "world's worst secret": Fox is launching a cable sports network on August 1 to challenge ESPN. Fox plans to announce the launch of Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday. But for all the pondering of its chances at taking a bite out of ESPN's lunch, we don't get many specifics about the network's programming. The only on-air personality mentioned in the Times is Regis Philbin, "a celebrated Notre Dame fan," who will host one of the planned original shows. It's rumored to be something like a sports version of The View. Other than that, we know we're going to get "Nascar races, Major League Baseball games, college basketball and football, soccer and U.F.C. fights." But much of the hosting talent, at least for baseball, will probably come from Fox's 22 regional networks. Only Regis has been confirmed on the starting lineup.