Fox affil sites go primetime

Series streams, downloads offered

Fox Broadcasting Co. is set to announce today that it will make select primetime series available for download-to-own on the Web sites of more than 200 of its affiliated stations in the next few months.

The plan, struck Wednesday with Fox's affiliate board of governors along with Fox Interactive Media and 20th Century Fox Film Corp., is an expansion of the Fox on Demand initiative the divisions launched in October, which only entailed streaming free ad-supported episodes on, MySpace and 24 owned-and-operated stations. Now streaming and downloading will be possible, with stations and News Corp. engaging in an unspecified split of advertising and transactional revenue.

Visitors can purchase individual episodes or entire seasons of such shows as "24" and "Prison Break" through the company's video distribution platform for play on computers or portable devices. A single episode, which would be available the day after its primetime premiere, will cost $1.99, while entire seasons will range from $19.99-$39.99.

"Times are changing, and from our perspective the business is being developed across the Internet, and we're taking a look at all the opportunities," said Ron Berryman, senior vp and GM of Fox Interactive Media Stations Group. "We're testing distribution models out as everyone else is."

Consumers also can purchase movies, games and anime through Fox on Demand.

Berryman described the revised platform as very "video-centric" with an enhanced ability to target video ads to consumers.

"It's not just traditional prerolls or display ads," Berryman said. "We're getting into contextual ad delivery and search ad delivery."