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News Corp. to Push Broadcast at Cable Show

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 says.

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.