Michael Grotticelli /
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Murdoch wants to charge for Fox network carriage

Rupert Murdoch, having earlier vowed to charge money for his properties over the Internet, now wants to extract fees from cable and satellite operators who carry the Fox network.

Murdoch, at a News Corp. shareholder meeting last week, said cable and satellite operators need to pay his company “a small portion of the profits” they gain from offering the Fox network. News Corp. will seek retransmission consent fees from all distributors who carry the Fox-owned local stations.

“We realize this is going to be a tough challenge,” Murdoch said. “And we’re determined to take a leadership position in creating an economic template for the future.”

CBS has pursued retransmission agreements. NBC and ABC have cut quid-pro-quo deals, where operators can carry their stations for free in exchange for paying a premium to offer their cable channels.

Murdoch suggested that paying retrans fees is advantageous for both sides. “Clearly, the broadcast model is challenged,” he said. “Good programming is expensive and can no longer be supported solely by advertising revenue.”

Murdoch also wants to charge users access to Web sites for the “New York Post,” Fox News Channel and his London newspapers. And he’s determined to marginalize news aggregators that sell advertising on Web pages that direct viewers to News Corp.-owned sites.

“Successful newspapers in the future will charge for their content and aggregators will largely be excluded,” he said. “I’m confident this trend will continue to grow in the coming years.”

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