Premium ad prices greet new dramas in Fox's Remote Free TV


Fox's new "Fringe" hopes to benefit from Remote Free TV. Fox is getting 35%-40% pricing premiums for commercials in its two new dramas for the 2008-09 season, "Fringe" and "Dollhouse," in upfront deals with advertisers, media agency sources said.

Under Remote Free TV, the network is running half the number of commercials and promotional minutes in those shows to maximize viewer engagement.

"Fringe" will premiere in the fall, and "Dollhouse" will air beginning in January. The fewer commercials will decrease the length of commercial breaks by shortening the commercial pods.

Agency sources estimate that Fox has sold about 70% of its upfront primetime inventory and could be done with its upfront sales by the week's end. Fox's primetime packages with Remote Free TV inventory included are averaging cost-per-thousand increases in the low double digits, while packages without Remote Free TV inventory are averaging 8%-10% increases, similar to the increases garnered by ABC for primetime inventory in the upfront.

Sources familiar with negotiations with Fox said the net was hoping to get even greater premiums for the Remote Free TV, but agencies — even those who have embraced the concept — have taken a hard line.

Fox sales execs couldn't be reached.

John Consoli is a reporter for Mediaweek.