Westminster dog show leaves USA Network for Fox Sports

In what seems to be a hostile takeover of live broadcasting, Fox Sports agreed to televise the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show starting in 2017.

The decision leaves the USA Network in the dark after sponsoring the event for over three decades, but Larry Jones of Fox Sports, who captained the negotiation between the two parties, stripped the annual competition from their long-time network host.

“It’s always been our long-term goal to have those two properties under one roof,” Westminster Kennel Club Chairman Sean McCarthy said.

Sports Media Advisors founder Doug Perlman: “This was a fun process with a good property. People love this show. Whenever I told people that I was working with the Westminster Kennel Club, their reactions were universally positive”.

During its last competition, which was held in February of this year, the dog show reported 1.5 million viewers on a Monday and 2.6 million on a Tuesday, thus providing the FS1 network with one of its most viewed properties.

After a quick session of butting heads, NBC executives held disdain over the minds of the Westminster Kennel Club for taking their show elsewhere, after NBC granted favorable time slots on both CNBC and USA Network. Regardless, the dog show never lived up to the numbers following broadcasts of WWE Raw (USA Network) or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (NBC affiliates).

However, this maneuver might spur a larger viewing audience, thanks in large part of Fox Sports and their maturing broadcast portfolio.

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*Featured Photo Credit (above): Shannon Stapleton/Reuters