‘New’ Fox to Seek Bigger Retransmission Payments

The new Fox will be looking to boost its retransmission payments and subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators.

“We plan to meaningfully accelerate or growth of both direct retransmission and non-O&O revenue,” said Fox COO John Nallen, speaking at the new company’s first investor day Thursday.

As a smaller company, with the Fox Broadcast network and the live programming oriented Fox News and Fox Sports, Fox is now positioned to capture the full value of its brands, Nallen said. The company is calling its position with live programming “The Power of Now.”

“The purity of this sustained value opportunity for our Fox brands is a critical Fox asset as we’re not tethered to any properties that are just getting harder to defend,” he said.

In terms of Fox Broadcast, Nallen said “we believe the economics we receive are quite underpriced relative to the quality of the content,” pointing to Thursday Night Football, WWE Smackdown and its recently extended rights to broadcast the World Series.

On cable, the company anticipates being able to achieve strong price gains.

Nallen said Fox was planning for continued net subscriber erosion, led by cable and satellite. But he said new virtual MVPDs, led by Hulu and YouTube TV, were expected to grow.

“This will result in one of the digital distributors replacing a traditional player in our top four,” he said.

In terms of ad revenue, Nallen said the new Fox was in a good position because about 70% of its advertising revenue including local cam from either live news or live sports, which remain strong in ratings and in ad pricing.

After pre-upfront meetings with advertisers, “we’re optimistic to deliver top-of-the-market pricing,” he said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.