After five months of negotiations, Fox cut a deal with its affiliates this week to share revenue generated by new digital distribution, clearing the way for Fox to offer its shows on the Internet and through video-on-demand. Under the arrangement, Fox stations would get a percentage of revenue from any subscriptions or advertising in repurposed programs.
The deal, in the works for months, marks the first board cooperation between a major network and its affiliate group on new-platform trials.
Stations argue they play a key role in making network shows hits, including promotion, and should share in any spoils. With the Fox pact, affiliates say they can help further the business. “Fox recognizes that the affiliates can provide a great marketing platform,” says Brian Brady, president of Northwest Broadcasting and head of the Fox affiliate board.
For its part, Fox sells some reruns on News Corp.-controlled DirecTV, but has held back on other platforms until it settled with affiliates.
“It is in both of our best interests to exploit these rights,” says Jon Hookstratten, Fox’s executive VP of network distribution. “We are trying to work with affiliates as partners and move forward together.”
As part of the deal, affiliates will continue to contribute to Fox’s new six-year NFL deal.