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Fox, Affils Extend NFL Cost-Sharing Agreement

Apr 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Fox Broadcasting and its affiliates have agreed to a precedent-setting six-year extension of their NFL cost-sharing agreement that will maximize the network’s ability to repurpose its programming on new media platforms while giving the affiliates a share of any revenue made through the repurposing.

The deal, ratified by affiliates last week, also keeps flat the percentage of revenue the affiliates will contribute toward defraying the cost of the network’s six-year, $713 million per-season NFL rights package.

“We are the first network to actually create a structure with our affiliate base that enables us to exploit all these new media opportunities in a way that is collaborative and synergistic and where everybody wins,” Peter Levinsohn, president of Digital Media for the Fox Entertainment Group, said Wednesday during an interview.

Jon Hookstratten, executive VP of network distribution, handled the networks’ side of the negotiations with Mr. Levinsohn.

“We’re doing it in a way that’s collaborative,” Mr. Hookstratten said Wednesday.

“I think Fox is way out in front of everybody else on this, and I think they truly understand the relationship with the affiliates and what the affiliates bring to the party in terms of marketing muscle and that sort of thing. I think this deal reflects that,” said Brian Brady, the Northwest Broadcasting president who is chairman of the Fox affiliates, on Wednesday.

The number of hours Fox can make available via broadband or video-on-demand and other deals will increase to 100 percent of the network’s lineup in the third year of the deal.

The goal of the off-network use of the content is to expand the programming’s audience and drive those new viewers back to the network, the network executives said.