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How the FCC counts Fox

On their own, News Corp. subsidiary FOX Television Stations Inc.'s 23 TV stations reach 40.69% of U.S. households, while Chris-Craft Industries Inc./United Television Inc.'s 10 TVs reach 21.74%. But simple addition won't result in the total number of households to be reached by the new, combined company.

For one thing, if a company owns two stations in one market, only the station with the bigger reach is counted. With Chris-Craft, FOX is building duopolies in four markets: New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

But the real key to reach is the FCC's method of accounting, which discounts the coverage of UHF stations (chs. 14 and up) by half. Under that formula and using current Nielsen numbers, the former FOX reached 35.201% of TV households, while Chris-Craft covered 18.806%.

Using the FCC's technique, the combined company will reach 40.589% of U.S. households (without the UHF discount, that number would be 48.322%). That's a hair more than the 40% the combined Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. reach.

But in both cases, the companies will have to pare down. The FCC currently limits a broadcaster's reach to 35% of TV households.

This chart depicts the combined current station holdings of FOX and Chris-Craft. The lines highlighted in red indicate markets where a duopoly is under construction.

D-Compiled by Elizabeth A. Rathbun

Note: All Fox's stations are FOX TV network affiliates except KDFI-TV (independent); all Chris-Craft stations are UPN affiliates except ktvx (ABC) and KMOL-TV (NBC).