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SBD/Issue 167/Sports Media
Fox' Hill Warns Leagues' Streaming Efforts Could Turn Off Nets
Published May 12, 2010
|Fox' David Hill Says Network Seeing "Positive
Signs" For NASCAR Sprint Cup Ratings
Fox Sports President Ed Goren has made headlines recently by complaining about the leagues' streaming of live events to mobile and broadband. Goren's boss, Fox Sports Chair David Hill, backed up his colleague yesterday, warning that broadcasters will turn away from the leagues if TV ratings drop. "The day will come when the leagues kill the goose that lays the golden egg," Hill said. "If they keep slicing and dicing, one morning we’re going to wake up and say, ‘This doesn’t work for us.’” Hill said Fox is in "constant conversations" with the NFL, MLB and NASCAR about this issue. Hill made his comments from the Fox booth at the cable industry's annual convention in L.A. He had just seen a 3-D demo in one of the conference rooms and was enthused about the experience. "I've always seen HD as a stepping stone to 3-D," he said. He said he has not had a good 3-D viewing experience around live sports yet, but said he can see a day in the near future where productions become better. Hill said Fox will really begin to support 3-D television once it can profit it. "We have to do it with a partner," he said. "If cable and satellite operators will monetize it, we'll be there. ... The only way I'll do it is if someone pays us for it." Hill also was enthused about NASCAR, which has has posted a 5.0 rating through nine telecasts (excluding Monday make-ups). Ratings are down 4%, but Hill said he is seeing positive signs. "NASCAR has hit the trough and is going back up again," he said. "We are getting the young men back." Hill said the ratings bump is set up to benefit TNT and ESPN, which carry the second half of the NASCAR season.