Professional skateboarder-gone-business entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek started Street League Skateboarding on an ambitious gamble. The 20-year veteran pro had already made successful strides in television as the star and host of MTV shows “Rob & Big” and “Fantasy Factory.” But returning to his skate roots by launching a new televised professional skateboarding contest series was uncharted waters.
Yet, in 2010, SLS’ maiden network deal and the cooperation of the sport’s top pro riders successfully took the new contest and its multi-stop circuit to the TV sets across America. Today, SLS continues its upward trajectory with a new distribution deal with FOX Sports 1 that aims to deliver the contest to even more fans globally.
Under the new partnership, FOX Sports 1 will serve as the new cable network hub of Street League in the U.S. and will facilitate global distribution of the contest’s live broadcasts through the FOX family of networks.
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Dyrdek says choosing a network partner with an understanding of skateboarding and a powerful vision for the growth of the sport was a critical point of the deal.
“I’m thrilled to bring Street League to FOX Sports,” says Dyrdek. "Not only am I a fan of what they are doing with other key properties on the FOX Sports 1 network, but to have a media partner that truly believes in skateboarding as a stand-alone sport poised for long-term growth means the world to our business and the ability to grow the Street League audience globally.”
For Fox Sports 1, the new partnership represents a unique opportunity to elevate SLS and televised professional skateboarding as a whole to never-before-seen levels.
“Rob is a force of nature,” says Michael Bloom, senior vice president of original programming at FOX Sports. “His dedication to growing the sport is clearly evident in Street League. He delivers exciting contests, events and television that captivate both core skateboarders and casual viewers from beginning to end.”
Athletes, too, are excited about the expanded reach the partnership brings and, like Dyrdek, are happy to be working with a network they say understands the best interests of pro skateboarding.
"Not only is it an awesome opportunity for Street League and all the pros, but it brings the best skateboard series to a new network with a huge platform,” says 2013 SLS Champion Chris Cole. “FOX Sports believes in the long-term growth for the sport and that is our biggest goal. It’s a win for everyone involved.”