News Corp. COO Says Fox Meeting Goals in Payment Disputes

Chase Carey also says Fox News Channel deserves more in subscriber fees

Last Updated: December 8, 2010 @ 3:03 PM

News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey says Fox has met its goals so far in negotiations for retransmission consent payments from cable and satellite operators, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Fox has been having intense, public negotiations with such pay-TV operators as Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Dish Network Corp. In the case of Cablevision, the negotiations led to programming disruptions for consumers. But Carey said the fights have been a success for News Corp.

Also read: FCC Enters Retransmission Debate

"We achieved what we set out to achieve," he said Wednesday at an investor conference in New York City hosted by UBS, according to the Journal. 

He also said News Corp. hopes to increase subscriber fees for Fox News Channel, noting that it gets only a small fraction of what ESPN does in subscriber fees, Broadcasting & Cable reported.

"That channel in the cable world is right there with ESPN, as important a channel as exists out there," he said. "Clearly a lot of customers [would] move if it weren't there."

ESPN is the highest-priced national cable channel at about $4 per subscriber per month. After launch deals began expiring in 2006, top-rated cable news channel Fox News was able to increase rates to about $1. Some of those deals are expiring, raising the likelihood of more negotiations.

Carey said Fox is "a much more important network for consumers than any cable channel out there," and he said, "realistically, we could have asked for a lot more."

He also said MySpace, the company's social networking site, is in transition and needs time for its recent redesign to catch fire, the Journal reported.

"We think [MySpace] has a shot to be an interesting business for us," Carey said. "We recognize that it's a problem we have to be addressing, and right now, it's not where it needs to be. Clearly, it's something we need to deal with in the short term."