Monday, March 21, 2005

Fox News (*gasp*) expects more money for higher ratings...

The cover story of the March 14 issue of Weekly Variety details the fact that the Fox News Channel is expected to demand a rate increase from cable networks that carry it. For some reason, this is covered in a vague way as it if were unseemly, despite the fact that Fox News' ratings have skyrocketed of late, and that it's probably one of the few channels that actually convinces people to spring for cable.

Putting the cable providers in a tighter bind is that Fox's owner, Robert Murdoch, also owns DirecTV, a satellite provider. Should cable companies drop Fox News, chances are that some of their audience would move to satellite TV as an alternative.

The story mentions that the last channel to demand a big increase was ESPN, and that one effect of this was that other, less popular Disney cable channels bore the brunt of the cable companies' wrath. That could be a problem. Each channel of Fox is probably a separate company, so Fox News wouldn't directly be affected by, say, F/X not getting more money later on. The question is whether the effect on the entire corporation would be severe enough to cause somebody higher up to overrule Fox New's demands for increased revenue.

The answer, I'd think: Probably not.

However, I found this 'warning' of the article hysterically funny:

"And it won't just be [other Fox channels] that will get flayed..."I'll go after CNN and MSNBC," says one operator. "If I have to pay more because Fox News is getting more viewers, then I'm sure as hell going to pay less for the lousy ratings of CNN [which boasts not much more than half the viewers of FNC] and MSNBC."

Well, shouldn't they? Politics aside, isn't that exactly the way it should work?


At 5:27 AM, Blogger Gadfly said...

The only thing that could go wrong here is if a bunch of cheapo cable providers start doing away with one of the newschannels to free up FNC money.

This would be horrific. I need all three, because I can guarantee over the course of an hour that each of them will do something to annoy me and make me switch to another newschannel.


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