News Corp. to Push Broadcast at Cable Show

Fox Broadcasting Co. to have major presence alongside company’s cable networks

In line with its corporate
push to sell the wares of
its prominent broadcast
business to cable operators,
News Corp. will for
the first time significantly incorporate
the Fox television
network into its presence at the
2010 Cable Show, set for May
11-13 in Los Angeles. The Fox
Broadcasting Co. is expected to
send a wide array of talent to the
show, to promote the company
alongside all the talent from the
News Corp. cable networks.

While plans are still being
finalized, a significant amount
of the presence will come from
the Fox Sports side, with several
big names from its NFL,
MLB and NASCAR shows expected
to attend and sign autographs
throughout the event.

But the network also plans
to showcase talent from its entertainment
side, and is hoping
to have actors on hand from
shows including rookie hit Glee,
among others. Jane Lynch was
among the talent being considered
for an appearance, though
nothing has been confirmed.

The company will also invite
several members of the production community to attend, including
producers of shows on
networks such as Fox and FX.

Mike Hopkins, Fox Networks
president of affiliate sales and
marketing, says the strategy to
push the broadcast network at
The Cable Show makes sense,
given his figures that 60% of
Fox station and network homes
are viewed on cable systems.

“For years we have been representing
the Fox network in
retransmission consent deals; it
just seems natural now to really
integrate our networks into The
Cable Show,” he says. “We sell
Fox now as much as we sell FX
or Speed. We’re just trying to
make sure everyone realizes all
the assets we have.”

And while Fox content has
been represented in the News
Corp. booth for a few years
through video and display assets,
this marks a ramp-up.
“This is the first time we’ve
gone to aggressively bring in
the Fox network talent,” Hopkins

Hopkins also notes that geography
made the strategy
more cost-effective, as most of
the talent being considered to
attend is already based in Los
Angeles, the site of this year’s
show. “The stars were aligned
for us,” he says.

Also aligned was the timing,
as next up for News Corp. on
the retrans side are its expiring
deals with Cablevision and
DISH this fall.