Fox chief Carey's remarks portend future retransmission rate fights

Unless cable and satellite operators are willing to roll over and pay, it appears that more retransmission disputes are inevitable if News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) COO Chase Carey has his way.

Carey said that News Corp.'s Fox Networks has inked shorter deals with service providers than other broadcasters because there's money to be made in jacking up rates every few years. This, he said, starts with the Fox broadcasting network which "should be the most profitable" in the company's programming stable.

Certainly it was the broadcasting network that was at the heart of a dispute and blackout with Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC). That fight, during which Cablevision subscribers missed the major league baseball playoffs and part of the World Series, ended when the MSO acceded to Fox's "unfair price." The only thing unfair about it, Carey said, was it was too low. "We could have asked for a lot more," he said.

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