Chase Carey warns of 3D misuse

Says News Corp. deserves 'fair share' of retrans fees

NEW YORK -- 3D is a "real and important" business, but Hollywood must make sure it is selective about the use of the technology, News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO Chase Carey told an investor conference here Wednesday.

Entertainment companies must focus 3D "on the product that deserves it," he said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. If, as has been the case at times, releases get 3D treatment that don't require or deserve it, "it sort of muddies the whole experience for the consumer," Carey argued.

Carey echoed many themes that his peers have touched on at the Wall Street gathering.

"This whole cord cutting does seem to be a bit the flavor of the month," he said, for example, when discussing fears that consumers will cancel their cable subscriptions to watch more content online or in other digital forms, including via "over-the-top" TV services that deliver video content to TV sets via the Web. NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger had made similar points at the conference.

Asked if News Corp. and its Fox will look for more reverse retransmission consent fees from its TV station affiliates, he said the company deserves "a fair share" of retrans fees they get paid given that networks provide sports and other popular and event content.

Carey also echoed others in saying that the ad market continues to be "really good" as the second half of 2010 has been "strong."

Political ad momentum also "continues to be pretty good," he said. But he warned: "Going into next year...[there is] less visibility."

Asked about News Corp.'s participation in a new 99-cent Apple TV rental service for TV shows, Carey said it "is really a test for us." He called for flexible digital strategies as media companies explore new business models, release windows and price points.
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