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Now blockchain & NFTs come to TV

Fox is haring into the non-fungible token market with Blockchain Creative Labs.

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MUMBAI: For all those naysayers and fence-sitters, it is here and it is now. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are coming to the broadcast television business. US TV network Fox has announced the formation of a new non-fungible token (NFT) company called Blockchain Creative Labs. The new firm will create NFTs based on the intellectual properties it owns. Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier announced this at the advertiser targeted Upfronts on Monday.

NFTs, which exist on blockchain - a digital ledger similar to the networks that underpin bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - notched up $1.5 billion in sales in just the first quarter of 2021. Each NFT is unique, cannot be duplicated, and is equivalent to an ownership deed to digital or physical artwork, music, or digital collectibles such as IPL 2021’s best video moments. Of course, someone else may have an image or copy of the piece, but that’s not the original which of course has a big-ticket price.

They have become all the rage nowadays following the success of digital artist Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple, who sold an NFT for $69 million. They are not restricted to just art; they have extended to sports collectibles, highlight show reels, augmented reality sneakers, music, and even digital cats.

Fox is getting into the NFT game in the hope of monetizing its properties beyond television (in the crypto world) where the major revenue sources are advertising, or pay-TV, or syndication.

Blockchain Creative Labs' first attempt at exploring the potential of TV show characters and properties is going to be with Krapopolis, an animated comedy series set in mythical ancient Greece, which is being directed by Ricky and Morty and Community creator Dan Harmon.

Fox says that its marketplace “will curate and sell digital goods, ranging from NFTs of one-of-a-kind character and background art, and gifs, as well as tokens that provide exclusive social experiences to engage and reward super fans.”

Addressing the advertiser-dominated audience during the upfronts, Collier said that as “an advertiser-focused, artist-first and animation-obsessed company, Fox is going to take advertisers into the world of blockchain-powered tokens, including NFTs…we will also help your brands connect directly with fans and enthusiasts through NFTs.”

Will other broadcasters and networks also take the plunge? Will it inspire Indian media players to explore this space? These are cryptic questions.

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