01.13.2006 04:41 PM
Non-exclusive viewing emerges in network content distribution

Until now, the first viewing of premium television content has been reserved for broadcasters. However, a new partnership between FOX Entertainment Group and DIRECTV will allow viewers to pay to see a program before its initial mass broadcast on a network.

In an industry first, beginning in March, viewers with a DIRECTV Plus digital video recorder will be able to get a first look at primetime programming from FOX’s FX network a full 24-48 hours prior to their initial broadcasts. The cost will be $2.99.

Later in the year, DIRECTV subscribers will gain post-air access to FOX shows. For 99 cents, a viewer can watch a show six to seven days following its first national broadcast.

Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., said that FOX has the ability to create different cuts of programs for the pre-air audience — versions with additional scenes and materials not included in the network broadcast.

The DIRECTV Plus DVR features network programming on demand, one-touch pause, rewind and fast-forward functionality and 100 hours of recording capacity and interactive functionality.

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