Fox-TW details emerge

Net did better than expected in the hard-fought talks

It took a few days, but details have emerged about the hard-fought retransmission consent pact that Fox and Time Warner Cable signed on New Year’s Day after marathon negotiations.

Initial speculation had the deal as topping out at a monthly fee of about 60¢ per subscriber for the nine Fox O&Os carried by Time Warner systems in nine major markets, including Gotham and L.A. (Daily Variety, Jan. 4). But informed sources say that the five-year deal calls for Time Warner to shell out more than 75¢ per sub a month by the end of the deal term. Fox started out seeking $1 per sub in a bold bid to help shore up the shaky economics of the broadcast network biz and gain parity with top-tier basic cable channels.

The Fox-Time Warner deal also involved new carriage agreements for Fox-owned cablers FX, Speed, Fuel and a clutch of regional sports cablers, and sources cautioned that the retrans fees involve a host of considerations for those nets as well as for the Fox network affils. Still, a fee of 75¢-plus by 2015 is better than many biz observers thought Fox could command in this retrans go-round. And the Fox-Time Warner deal is considered to be a key benchmark for a slew of retrans deals to come for broadcast TV station owners in the next few years. The ABC O&Os, for one, have their retrans pact with Time Warner set to expire at year’s end.

Reps for Fox and Time Warner declined to comment.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety