Actually, I should have spelled out something in the previous post.
It is not legal for a Public Company to give away airtime to another Division or Co-owned company (that could otherwise be sold) that does not have the exact same owners. Obviously, Directv and Fox fall under Murdoch, but as they have different stock offerings, the ownership is not the same. So, for example, if Fox needed some uplink equipment and Directv just happened to have it laying around, while they could probably lend it to them for a short period of time, they could not just outright give the equipment to the other. Some form of compensation has to be worked out that values it the same on both sets of books.
I am aware of a station in LA that had a warehouse filled with unused broadcast equipment that most stations would have died for. RKO wasn't known for being cheap when it came to equipment purchases and when the RKO stations were sold off, the warehouse full of equipment went with it.
In fact, the "other stations" in the chain were desperate for the equipment and many had virtually no capital budget. However, legally, they could not send the equipment to the other stations around the country as every station was setup as a separate S Corporation even though the world knew them under a single entity.
Thus the equipment was never used and finally went to that old equipment graveyard in the sky.
It's even harder to move assets around in these type of circumstances today under Sarbane Oxley which makes reporting more and more time consuming to make sure illegal things are not happening.
This would be in essence raiding the assets and profits of one company and giving it to the other, thus deprieving the shareholders of the first their just profits.
Now, I am not inferring that Fox or Directv are doing anything illegal - which is what I wanted to make clear.
However, there is a lot of wiggle room in some of the valuations of things.
For example, you never saw "HD brought to you by Directv" on any network but Fox - and iirc, you never saw anyone but Directv have that on Fox. Kind of hard to determine the fair value for that if you've never tried to sell it to anyone else in an open market.
But then again, there is a reason why you only see the GE EcoManagement spots on NBC.
And yes, several years ago you saw Harris bringing you a number of High Profile Sports Events (NCAA Finals for example) on CBS and no where else. Funny how CBS was exclusively using Harris IRDs for HD and how CBS standardized on the Harris Flexcoder for ATSC. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
And what type of compensation does Fox have with Directv for carriage and what did the other get in return (Inventory has been known to be a part of it in many carriage deals, fwiw).
So again, I never meant to infer Fox or Directv were doing anything illegal, but I do find it interesting that the Fox Station in Miami was running the spot every few hours this week - while I did not see that type of rotation on the other outlets.