Fox demands to affiliate stations point to retransmission fee share increase

Fox Networks is making it pretty clear that it wants more money from retransmission consent fees. The News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) unit has been an aggressive competitor in fights with cable MSOs and now it's taking its demands to its affiliates.

Fox signed a new affiliation agreement with Communications Corporation of America's WEVV in Evansville, Ind. to replace a station owned by Nexstar, which has been battling with Fox over affiliation agreements that include more retrans earnings. The network also chose Journal Broadcast Group to launch its network on KNIN in Boise, Idaho, replacing Block Communications-owned KRTV, whose affiliate agreement expired.

While not saying so directly, Mike Hopkins, Fox's president of affiliate sales and marketing, suggested the network would be playing hardball with its affiliates when he told Broadcasting & Cable in February that "in certain markets of the country if the economics of broadcasting aren't able to support the broadcast network we may have to make a determination that we might be better off not being broadcasters in that market and be a cable channel."

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story
- and TVNewsCheck has this story

Related articles:
Fox affiliate retrans fees demands go beyond what cable's now paying
Fox Network: Local stations should share retrans revenues