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Fox Pushes Affiliates to Pay Up

In a nearly four-hour meeting with affiliates on Tuesday, Fox laid out an aggressive new plan for wringing additional revenue out of its stations.

News Corp. president and COO Chase Carey has made it clear that he plans to have Fox-affiliates pay a share of the retrans money that they receive from cable and satellite companies and in Tuesday’s closed-door meeting the network took a hard line, outlining exactly how much stations will be required to pay and leaving time for questions, not negotiations.

Fox is demanding 25 cents per subscriber from affiliates in the top 125 markets during the first year of the new deal and that figure will climb to reach 50 cents in the fourth year. Affiliates in smaller markets will pay 15 cents to start and 25 cents in year four.

While most of the roughly 150 attendees remained tight-lipped upon exiting the meeting, the ones who spoke to the press described Fox as inflexible, a stance that seems to be eroding its relationship with affiliates.

“It’s not like it used to be,” one Fox GM told TVNewsCheck. “It’s not a partnership anymore between the network and affiliates. They admitted that during the meeting.”

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