Chase Carey optimistic about broadcast TV

News Corp. exec says networks need dual revenue streams

While broadcast networks have seen declines in viewership and advertising, Chase Carey, deputy chairman, COO and President of News Corporation, doesn't believe they are doomed as long as they are able to continue to develop a second source of revenue.

"I don't think with retransmission (broadcasters) are screwed," Carey said during an interview before an industry audience at the HRTS kickoff Newsmakers Luncheon for the new TV season in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. "It has to be a dual revenue stream or they can't compete."

The ability to keep major sports events on broadcast networks like News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting Co., also depends on getting more revenue from retransmission agreements with cable operators and new media platforms, said Carey. "We need that dual revenue stream," said Carey, "to pay for it and keep it on broadcast."

Carey said the fact is the major broadcasters may be just another channel on the dial in the multimedia world but they still aggregate a far larger audience than any of their rival services on cable TV. "We need to get the value for that," said Carey, "and then i think (broadcast) has a great future."

Carey was scornful in talking about cable services that get high fees for carriage of their channels but don't deliver as good a product as broadcast. He said advertising revenue alone "is not enough to compete with groups who get a buck plus for programming that doesnt come close to being as good."

He said retransmission income will never replace what has been lost in ad revenue but without it, the broadcast model doesn't work at all. "The broadcst networks for too long have accepted being second class citizens," said Carey, "in terms of selling advertising alone."

He said without this added revenue the broadcast networks would lose money and decline further.
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