Fox makes Web platform available to affiliates

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In a new deal struck late Tuesday between Fox Interactive Media and the Fox affiliate board of governors, Fox will make available its MyFox Web platform to its 160 affiliates. The platform has powered the 24 Fox owned-and-operated TV stations since last summer. Should affiliates, who currently operate their own Web sites choose to adopt the MyFox platform, it would expand Fox's branded Internet presence into nearly every TV market.

The pact expands upon a previous deal between Fox and its affiliates to add the Fox on Demand service, which streams many of Fox's TV shows, on affiliate Web sites. Since that deal was struck in February, more than 50 TV stations have launched Fox on Demand. Now affiliates have a choice: They can take Fox on Demand, or adopt the entire MyFox Web platform, which includes Fox on Demand, for a complete turnkey Web site.

Under the terms of the new deal, the MyFox Web platform will be customized and managed for each affiliate by the Fox Interactive Media TV Stations Group, providing uniform programming and features across the local sites and sophisticated ad delivery technology. Powered by FIM's Grab.com's social media tools, the MyFox platform leverages a common architecture for news and community. Affiliates and FIM split the revenue 50/50.

So far, 15 stations are up on the MyFox platform and another 24 have committed to adopt it.

"We think this is an opportunity to build another business with the network," said Joe Denk, general manager of KFXA-TV, Second Generation's affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which will make the transition to MyFox. "The agreement is affiliate-friendly. The board hopes a significant number of affiliates participate, because that increases the chances for success," he added.

The final agreement was a long time in discussion, begun under Northwest CEO and president Brian Brady, the previous chairman of the Fox affiliate board; and John Tupper, chairman emeritas and president of Prime Cities Broadcasting.
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