Fox Television Cuts Affiliates In On Any Internet Revenue
from the smart-of-legacy-issues? dept
With all the attention being paid to Disney these days for its efforts online, one aspect that is worth watching is how Disney/ABC affiliates and partners deal with the changes. As we noted in the past, the ABC affiliates were not happy when ABC first started selling TV shows on iTunes. This week, with the decision to offer shows for free online, again Disney boss Robert Iger made it clear that their affiliates came second to getting Disney in shape for the online world. It appears that Fox Television is trying a slightly different route — working out a deal that promises to share a portion of any online revenue with those affiliates. While it’s likely that Disney (and others) may eventually follow similar paths, it would be interesting to see what would happen if they took the hard line instead. It’s not clear why the affiliates deserve a piece of the online action, but without it, it could cause trouble down the road for the relationships between the networks and the affiliates. If Iger is confident that Disney doesn’t need the affiliates in this brave new world he’s entering, then this is one way to signal to them where things are headed — but that’s betting that any shift happens extremely fast. On the other side of the coin, though, Fox Television ends up having to pay lots of affiliates, which could seriously dent profits from any online ventures. Either way, the different strategies at least highlight some of the legacy issues that have made it more difficult for the television networks to completely embrace the online world so far.