As we ponder “New Realities,” new business models and new ways of thinking, it is probably very important to be as creative and flexible as possible. And smart.
The Fox television network has just announced a new arrangement for its local TV affiliates – in exchange for Fox offering up many of their popular network shows for download (but only after the initial airing). Stations get to share the wealth – sort of.
“The agreement, whose details have not been confirmed by the parties, allows FOX to make 60 percent of its primetime schedule available online the morning after the shows air, the Wall Street Journal reported. The formula is complex, but stations essentially will get a 12.5 percent cut after costs when a show is distributed to alternative media platforms.”
In the third year of the deal, Fox will have the rights to make 100% of the prime time schedule available for download.
Fox has about 150 affiliates – and FEW of them have strong local programming – unlike the ABC network, which has many strong local stations. Odd, then, that ABC has been much less attuned to local stations in their announcements over making ABC shows downloadable. Although a number of viewers may be very happy about the new options!
Back to the BE article – “As part of the deal, the stations agreed to continue to help pay a portion of the $713 million FOX must pay the National Football League each year under its contract.” That NFL contract was what made the Fox Network and local affiliates “matter.”
The relationship between TV networks and local stations (and cable networks to cable TV, for that matter) is in great flux these days, with no one really sure what the value of distribution paths should be in the future. With the demise of the UPN and WB networks, the CW network is being created – but CW is planning to charge “reverse compensation” to local affiliates for the programming. In response, 20th Century Fox (yes, that Fox) is making “My TV,” a new “affiliate friendly” network that will NOT charge stations for content.
So – it is interesting to remember that deals are coming in all shapes and sizes — and the ultimate ones that work will be the ones…that work. Also, moving to the new does not have to mean throwing away the old.
Just think – an almost endless stream of American Idol episodes, just waiting for you to download! I’m more likely to go for the Simpsons, though.