Fox News seeking better subscription value for its content

MUMBAI: News Corp will look for higher programming fees in the upcoming negotiations with pay TV contributors for its Fox News channel.

News Corp COO Chase Carey said that the conglomerate‘s content will be available to new clients only if it gets paid a "fair value". He was speaking at the 38th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Wednesday.

Chase asserted that though both the channels are equally important, Fox News gets a very small percentage when compared to the fees that ESPN reaps.

"[Fox News] in the cable world is right there with ESPN, as important a channel as exists out there," said Carey.

He averred that his team‘s motto will be: "If we don‘t get fair value, we shouldn‘t be selling it."

Priced at $4 per subscriber per month, currently ESPN is one of the highest priced cable channels in the US. Fox News is priced at $1 per subscriber per month; however this was negotiated in 2006.   
  Although Chase declined to discuss about the terms of deals News Corp reached with Cablevision Systems and Time Warner Cable, however he did mention that "we were looking to what we thought was fair and we stuck to our guns. It takes two to make a deal... we achieved what we set out to achieve."

He added that Fox "should be our most important channel. It should be our most profitable channel. That‘s what we‘re looking to achieve."

Carey said that Fox believes it has rejuvenated its most important franchise ‘American Idol‘.

"It‘s a dominant franchise. We can take advantage of a new, fresh and different panel [of judges]" he said.

This time the panel won‘t include Simon Cowell, but Cowell will be bringing his new show, ‘X Factor‘, to Fox next season.

"We will have year-round franchises with Idol and ‘X Factor‘ in the fall with Simon," he said.

According to Chase, News Corp‘s other cable channels also have opportunities to increase their subscription fees when compared with their competitors.

He said, "Our channels are pretty new compared to a lot of their peers," and that "If we make every channel a leader in its category, we‘ve got a lot of room to grow."

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