Rupert Murdoch sits down for an extensive Q+A with Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers, weighing in on the recent news that his son Lachlan Murdoch will re-join News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, his divorce from Wendi Deng and the possible Republican Presidential candidates of 2016. He also talked about Fox News and the recently-launched Fox Sports 1:
Does it bother you at all, Rupert, that there is a view that Fox News has contributed in a big way to the political discontent in the U.S., degraded the political process, and maybe, in spotlighting the Tea Party, even hurt the Republican Party? I think it has absolutely saved it. It has certainly given voice and hope to people who didn’t like all that liberal championing thrown at them on CNN. By the way, we don’t promote the Tea Party. That’s bullshit. We recognize their existence.
Your new Fox Sports 1 network is a very big bet. Well, it’s a pretty big bet. We certainly expect to lose a couple hundred million dollars for a year or two, and then we expect it to turn, and we’ll gradually make it into a major alternative to ESPN. We’re not going to put ESPN out of business.
Why does ESPN need an alternative? I think the public deserves choice.