Fox affiliate retrans fees demands go beyond what cable's now paying

News Corp.'s (Nasdaq: NWSA) Fox Networks wants its affiliates to cough up at least as much, and maybe more, of the retransmission money they're getting from service providers.

According to a Los Angeles Times story, the network is seeking a four-year deal with its affiliate stations where those local stations in the top 125 markets would pay 25 cents per subscriber per month going up to 50 cents per sub over the run of the contract; smaller market stations would start at 15 cents and climb to 25 by year four. Most local networks wring about 20-25 cents out of service providers.

Fox, as Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) will attest, doesn't fool around when it comes to retransmission. The broadcaster sent a letter to affiliates admitting the proposal "may not work for every company" and if it doesn't, Fox would "pursue different distribution channels." That, it said, is not a threat, "but it is a fact." It was enough to bring Sinclair Broadcast Group--late of a nasty spat with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI)--into the fold.

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