Mike HopkinsPresident, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Fox 3/07/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
When his responsibilities changed this year, Mike Hopkins
found himself under fire—not only from cable operators by
trying to extract higher fees from them for programming
and retransmission consent, but also from Fox’s affiliates.
Hopkins has been Fox Networks president of affiliate
sales and marketing since 2008. When Tony Vinciquerra
left as head of Fox Networks in February, Hopkins’ role
was broadened to include network distribution.
Now that broadcasters are getting cash payments from
cable, satellite and telco distributors, networks and affiliates
are wrestling over what share of that booty each deserves.
Fox’s negotiations with its affiliates went loudly public
last month, when a letter Hopkins sent to stations warning that if
the network’s proposals weren’t accepted, “Fox will pursue different
distribution channels,” was leaked.
Last year, Hopkins was in the middle of retransmission disputes with Dish Network and Cablevision.
The Cablevision dispute cost Fox millions of dollars and Cablevision tens of thousands of subscribers
before the two sides came to a resolution. Later this year, Fox faces carriage talks with DirecTV that could
be just as contentious. Fortunately for Fox, their man on the front lines is battle-tested.