News Corp. President: Fox News Program Fees Only A 'Small Fraction' of ESPN's
Chase Carey wants to grow them and get paid a "fair value" in content deals that the entertainment company may strike with digital players.
NEW YORK - News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO Chase Carey told a Wall Street crowd here Wednesday that Fox News will look for higher program fees in upcoming negotiations with pay TV contributors and that his conglomerate will only make its content available in new digital arenas if it gets paid "fair value."
That theme of getting fully compensated by new players for valuable content that Carey repeated several times during his lunch keynote appearance on the final day of the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference echoed what various industry top executives had also highlighted in recent days.
News Corp.'s current content deal for the Netflix streaming service is "pretty modest" and "more limited" than that of others, he later told reporters. During his keynote chat, he said TV networks will increasingly decide not to buy shows if they show up on the $8 a month Netflix service soon after their debut.
Like others, he said Starz in its previous deal with Netflix gave away great content "almost for nothing."
His team's motto instead will be: "If we don't get fair value, we shouldn't be selling it."
Netflix and how much it should pay for TV content was one recurring theme of the 38th annual edition of the UBS investor gathering.
Asked about the outlook for Fox content on Google TV, Carey said his company does not know enough about the new service yet to be able to commit to it.
Discussing Fox News Channel, Carey said it currently only gets "a small fraction" of what Walt Disney's ESPN gets, even though the two play in a similar league of the cable industry and both are must-have programming for distributors.
While he didn't mention specifics, he said that he expects higher rates in upcoming renewal talks for Fox News, a key growth driver of the company, over the coming years.
Carey also said that the Fox network is still underpaid in terms of retransmission consent fees, but will look to make progress in the future.
Carey also picked up the topic of undervalued stocks that was a recurring theme at the UBS conference, saying News Corp.'s share price is partly hampered by investors focusing too much on its newspaper operations.
He also mentioned upcoming iPad newspaper The Daily, which News Corp. is working on. Without sharing specifics, he said it will "take advantage of a really very attractive economic model."