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Fox Corp’s Lachlan Murdoch unveils new Fox Sports Plaza at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar

Fox Corporation Executive Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch was in Qatar on Monday to officially open up the new Fox Sports Plaza at Al Udeid Air Base located in the country.

Murdoch was in windy Doha – one of the sites of the 2022 World Cup being played in the Gulf country for the first time. He was with Brigadier General Jeffrey Nelson and Lt. General Alex Grynkewich to perform the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the venue, which includes a sports bar, outdoor kitchen, indoor and outdoor seating, multiple TVs, a video-game area and other recreational features.

It was a gift from Fox to U.S. servicemembers.

“I’d really like to say this afternoon, what a pleasure in seeing so many distinguished American servicemembers here and to bring your courage and stories home to the American people,” Murdoch said as he recalled coverage of FOX’s NFL broadcast on Veterans Day.

“I particularly liked the vignettes that the FOX Sports producers were able to produce around individual servicemembers.”

“I think it’s so important we remind our friends at home and our families at home what you do and what you sacrifice every single day that you’re here and a part of the armed forces. It’s a great appreciation and gratitude. I say thank you to all of you.”

Murdoch, Nelson, Grynkewich and FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks cut the ribbon to officially open the plaza. Grynkewich delivered remarks as the ribbon was being cut.

The base was built more than a dozen years ago, and the new plaza will help enhance any downtime U.S. servicemembers stationed there or passing through have.

The plaza opening coincides with the start of the World Cup. FOX Sports has the U.S. broadcast rights for the world’s biggest soccer tournament and servicemembers will be able to watch the matches on Day 2.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About The FOX Network

Fox has been on the air for 25 years. We’ve shown you the milestones and television shows that put the fledgling network on the map; however, it wasn’t always a cakewalk for the network. In fact, FOX probably wouldn’t have survived without the backing of News Corp in its early days.

We’ve uncovered six details from the network’s history that tell the story of the fourth channel that almost wasn’t—the billions of dollars media-mogul Rupert Murdoch gambled on the start-up and what company risked more than a million dollars to advertise with the then start-up.

And, did you know FOX went by a different name right up until its television premiere? Yeah, the face of television could have been much different.

Rupert Murdoch invested $2 billion in FOX.

rupert murdoch money

Whereas, others would have found this number insane in the ’80s. Murdoch didn’t hesitate to pull out his checkbook.

Without the funding, Fox would not have been able to buy six TV stations to broadcast throughout the country, making the fourth network’s chances for success pretty slim.

When FOX originally aired, it wasn’t considered a network. Rather, it existed as six stations.

television fox

FOX was made up of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston and Dallas VHF (Very High Frequency) stations.

FOX network was originally named FBC.

first fox name fbc

Why: Network executives attempted to model rival names ABC, CBS and NBC. Other rejected titles included UBS (Universal Broadcasting System) and IBS (International Broadcasting System).

The network nearly messed up an iconic brand.

20th century fox logo

Before changing its name to FOX, the network was so engulfed in trying to compete directly with the “big three” networks that it nearly went to air with the FBC title.

A light bulb finally went off to model the name after its parent film company–20th Century Fox.

The channel changed its name to FOX right before its launch in April 1987.

5. Bristol-Myers (Bufferin, Excedrin, Clairol) was the network’s first sponsor.

clairol excedrin

The pharmaceutical company paid $1.5 million for two 30-second spots each week on Fox’s first show, “The Late Show.”

FOX spent $2 million to construct a studio for “The Late Show” starring Joan Rivers.

joan rivers late show

Rivers was let go as host after one year. The show was a flop.

Tough luck, Bristol-Myers.

Now that you know FOX’s foundation, learn more about the network’s success.

fox simpsons little engine that could

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

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