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ARE FOX AND ABC CLOSE TO DEAL FOR AFFILS TO SHARE NFL COSTS?
Published June 4, 1998
Fox will begin meetings today with its affils in L.A. and discuss a plan to have affils help defray the cost of the network's $4.4B NFL deal, according to Rich Katz of DAILY VARIETY. Fox had sent a letter that "outlined contributions it expects from its stations," which included a plan in which the affils "would return 15 spots per week to the network, beginning July 1." The plan would require stations to "return money due from retransmission consent agreements expiring next year." Beginning July 1, Fox would also "give back to affiliates three spots that were removed from local inventory under the NFL agreement that expired in January. Money from these spots, sold locally, would go to the network, except for a 15% agency commission and 8% local sales commission." Fox said it would also "increase" the number of affils' pre-game inventory to 13 spots, from 11, but "all the commissions would go to the network" (DAILY VARIETY, 6/4). In related news, at the ABC affils meeting in Orlando, DAILY VARIETY reports that "progress has been made" in talks where stations would "contribute" about $30M to help ABC cover its new NFL contract." A deal is expected in "a few weeks at the earliest" (DAILY VARIETY, 6/4).