NewsCorp Offers Glimpse of Cable Payment Future

10 October 2006

NEW YORK: The sight of advertising revenue deserting television and heading online does not appear to disconcert media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The chairman/ceo of the News Corporation empire believes his 35 US TV stations could compensate for the deficit by charging cable and satellite operators 'retransmission' payments for showing their free-to-air broadcasts. These charges are usually waived in exchange for carriage of cable television channels.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Murdoch says: "One day [we] will get a breakthrough and get retransmission money from cable. They say 'over our dead bodies', but one day someone with nothing to lose like CBS will break through and then everyone will follow."

CBS is currently pushing for cable, satellite and teleco groups to pay retransmission fees following its split from cable giant Viacom.

Murdoch himself is a satellite operator via NewsCorp's stake in DirecTV in the US and BSkyB in the UK.

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