Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fox to Share Revenue From Reruns

General Electric Co.'s NBC began offering shows for sale on Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes last December; Walt Disney Co.'s ABC this week said it would begin offering such shows as "Lost" and "Alias" on free of charge. Neither network shares revenue from those ventures with affiliates.

The Fox deal isn't unprecedented. ABC agreed in 1999 to give stations a cut of revenue from daytime soap operas reshown later in the day on Disney's upstart cable network Soapnet.

Local stations have long enjoyed exclusive rights to air new shows, but technology is forcing the industry to reshape its business models. Stations worry that selling shows on iTunes -- or in Fox's case streaming programs on MySpace, News Corp.'s social networking site -- will cut into their ratings, and thus ad sales.

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