MyNet Puts Pressure on News Corp Earnings

06 February 2007

NEW YORK: MyNetworkTV, the low cost US television program company launched last September by News Corporation, is revamping its primetime schedule in an attempt to boost underwhelming ratings. MNTV, a sister-network to Fox TV is ditching some of its nightly Latin American soap operas to make way for movies and martial arts programming.

MNTV, hurriedly devised after a number of NewsCorp's TV stations lost their programming agreements, based its initial offering on the racy telenovela format, hugely popular among Hispanic viewers but lacking appeal among a wider audience.

As a consequence MyNet has cost its parent around $10 million (€7.7m; £5.1m) a month. Jessica Reif Cohen, analyst at Merrill Lynch, says she expects a $30m loss tied to the network when News Corp unveils its results tomorrow (Wednesday).

The stuttering growth of the Murdoch empire's TV stations in the US - the result of an advertising and audience migration to the web - has prompted speculation that some may be sold off.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff