SBD/April 9, 2013/Media

Carey Says Fox Could Become Cable Channel In Response To Aereo

Carey says the move would be done in collaboration with partners and affiliates
News Corp. COO Chase Carey warned that Fox' broadcast channel becoming a cable network “could happen,” according to Joe Flint of the L.A. TIMES. IAC/InterActiveCorp. Chair Barry Diller's new venture Aereo streams over-the-air TV signals on the Internet and has the “potential to undermine retransmission consent,” which provides fees to broadcast networks from cable companies. That has "broadcasters such as Fox worried.” Carey said, “We have no choice but to develop business solutions that ensure we continue to remain in the driver’s seat of our own destiny. One option could be converting the Fox broadcast network to a pay channel, which we would do in collaboration with both our content partners and affiliates.” Flint noted if Fox “opted to become a cable channel, it may be able to charge more than it currently gets from pay-TV distributors.” Another issue would be “whether Fox could contractually move all its content to cable.” There could be “concerns from lawmakers about even more football and baseball games moving from broadcast TV to cable.” An NFL spokeperson said, "We are committed to our partnership with Fox." Carey is the first broadcaster to “go public with the cable-only idea but others are thinking it too” (LATIMES.com, 4/8). Univision Chair Haim Saban said, “To serve our community, we need to protect our product and revenue streams and therefore we, too, are considering all of our options -- including converting to pay TV.” Saban said that Aereo was “a pirate” (N.Y. TIMES, 4/9).
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