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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Murdoch's First Step: Make Sports Fans Pay
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
NY Times, April 14, 2003

Full story at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/14/business/media/14CABL.html?tntemail0


Around the world, Mr. Murdoch has paid top dollar to dominate soccer broadcasts in Britain, rugby in Australia and cricket in India. In December 1993, Mr. Murdoch helped plant the flag of the Fox broadcast network on American television by paying nearly $1.6 billion for the rights to broadcast four years of the National Football League's national conference games on Fox for four years — raising the price by nearly 25 percent.


In the United States, News Corporation's Fox Entertainment subsidiary now also controls the national broadcast rights to Major League Baseball, half the Nascar racing season and every third Super Bowl. On cable, Fox controls the regional rights to 67 of 80 teams in the basketball, hockey and baseball leagues as well as several major packages of college basketball and football games, which it broadcasts on more than 20 Fox regional sports cable networks around the country. By acquiring DirecTV, Mr. Murdoch gains the exclusive right to broadcast the entire slate of Sunday NFL games as well.


Thanks to competitive bidding by Mr. Murdoch and his rivals, the cost of sports programming rights has risen nearly 20 percent a year in the United States in recent years, becoming one of the most expensive forms of programming and pushing up expenses for networks, pay television companies and subscribers.


Mr. Murdoch has been taking aim at ESPN's domination over national cable sports for years, seeking to stitch Fox's regional sports rights into competitive national programming. But Fox never got far on ESPN's home turf of national sports news.


Now analysts are waiting to see if Mr. Murdoch uses DirecTV to revive his campaign against ESPN or starts new channels in areas outside of sports. With DirecTV, Mr. Murdoch can start a new channel with immediate access to its subscribers, currently 11 million.
 

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Considering his apparent aversion to both ESPN and HDTV, this does not portend good news regarding ESPN-HD via DirecTV.


The question remains as to whether the above will be outweighed by the business benefit that would accrue to DirecTv were ESPN-HD available.
 

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every third Super Bowl.


Given that Fox is not supporting HDTV, it will be real interesting to see the ramifications if they air their next Super Bowl in 480.


Don
 

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Do we also forget that he gets his money by advertisements, which are directly related to ratings? Once it is a pay service then all advertisements should be off the channel.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul_Seng
Do we also forget that he gets his money by advertisements, which are directly related to ratings? Once it is a pay service then all advertisements should be off the channel.
Yeah, right! It don't work that way! We pay to see it and the advertiser pay to have their ads shown to us anyway, but you already know this...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dcarric
every third Super Bowl.


Given that Fox is not supporting HDTV, it will be real interesting to see the ramifications if they air their next Super Bowl in 480.


Don
Ramifications? If? The sad fact is that Fox does not do anything in HD and that goes for current widescreen Fox shows. What are the ramifications of that?
 

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hi,


i think Mr. Murdoch has no intrest to put money in HiDef. Thats the reason why FOX doesnt supports HiDef.



- DougMan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CycloneGT
haha, he's kicking Micky Mouse around. Good for him.
On NatGeo Foxes are seen eating mice..Oh, but wait..doesn't FOX own

the NatGeo channel?:)
 

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Dougman,


As far as we know, FOX is interested in anything that will make money, and that includes HDTV, so long as they can do it while protecting their content. For that reason, we may not see HDTV from FOX on broadcast television soon; however, for cable and DirecTV/Dish, they can use encryption and impose stiffer requirements on cable and equipment makers to protect their content (such as HDCP).


In the How does FOX widescreen work thread, an engineer from the FOX affiliate in Greensboro posted this as the reason why he personally believed there was no HDTV on FOX:
Quote:
NO. It has everything to do with the broadcast flag and bandwidth plays no part at this time. As I have been told, if FOX wanted to do HD today, it would be done today. CBS is also backing the broadcast flag too, hence the break neck speed at which Congress is pushing for the broadcast flag because Congress KNOWS CBS WILL PULL HD if it doesn't get done soon and I suspect the other networks are quietly telling them the same as well. It IS a big deal in the industry right now. Bank on it.
 

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Another possibility for the reason Fox does not do HD.


With the other popular Fox channels such as Fox News, Fox Sports, and locally available Fox Sports West they could prefer to multicast these channels instead of doing HD thinking that 4 channels will draw more than one HD channel. Fox, unlike other broadcast channesl, has more alternative channels.


Rick R
 

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Rick,


FOX makes a lot of money on their Fox Sports networks--up to $1.00 or more per customer; there is no way in hell they are going to multicast it free and in the clear. And contractual issues would now prevent them from putting FX (and possibly Fox News) on broadcast television as separate channels.


Now, they could always come up with new broadcast channels....but I'm not clear why they would do that, particularly when they have a pay-TV distribution medium. In the UK, Murdoch has fought against [greater] free television distribution.
 

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he is out to take as much and/or make as much money he can from the tv viewer, if it does fit these scenarios then forget it... not that there is anything wrong with doing so.. it is a business
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick_R
Another possibility for the reason Fox does not do HD.


With the other popular Fox channels such as Fox News, Fox Sports, and locally available Fox Sports West they could prefer to multicast these channels instead of doing HD thinking that 4 channels will draw more than one HD channel. Fox, unlike other broadcast channesl, has more alternative channels.


Rick R
That had been discussed in the beginning, but that idea has quietly fallen by the wayside. No one is talking like now that I know.
 

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bfdtv,


i agree with you in the point with the money, but when they re really intrest in HiDef i think now would be the best time to bring it on.

Espically in the Sports Area, because when ESPN-HD reach popular and HiDef will continue to go straight up FOX will have a Problem in my eyes.

Where is the Problem to bring NASCAR in HiDef for example, maybe not all races but the big ones.

What i have heard is that Mr. Murdochs thinks: We are Leader of mostly all time slots without HiDef, so why we need it.

I think he only will put money in HiDef if he cant act another way. So if no way out, he will, yes.



- DougMan
 

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Dougman,


Murdoch can't make any money on Nascar in HDTV on FOX, and it will be awhile before he can. Without a broadcast flag, I don't forsee FOX doing much HDTV soon over the airwaves.
 

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Hi, I am no real fan of FOX but to blame them for the high cost of sports programing does not make sense, you lose the discussion immediately. -----


The 1927 Yankees (considered the greatest team ever) the starting 8 players salary was $202,500.00 for the year, while the 2003 Yankees make $110,500,000.00. -----


I am constantly surprised how everyone always blames the owners, someone has to pay those wages and it is not going to be the owners. --------


We pay police and fireman $60,000.00 per year and complain our taxes are too high, yet we are willing to pay high cable and ticket prices for A-Rod, Kobe and the rest. ----


Its insane and out of control and its all our fault. ----


12 years ago when the baseball owners refuse to pay the free agents a federal judge ordered the owners to pay the free agents their demands and fined them a amount equal to the wages. -------------


Perhaps if we started a boycott like the France and Dixie chicks boycott maybe A-Rod would have to learn how to live on 2 million instead of twenty million per year.


Just a silly thought, Greg
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bfdtv
Dougman,


Murdoch can't make any money on Nascar in HDTV on FOX, and it will be awhile before he can. Without a broadcast flag, I don't forsee FOX doing much HDTV soon over the airwaves.
Exactly how does a broadcast flag have any impact on televising sporting events in HD? Do they plan on re-airing sporting events in syndication?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by yankee14


Perhaps if we started a boycott like the France and Dixie chicks boycott maybe A-Rod would have to learn how to live on 2 million instead of twenty million per year.


Just a silly thought, Greg
Perhaps that would happen if there were boycotts.. but SHOULD it happen.. Should I personaly care that FOX is willing to pay any amount of money to bring me sporting events.. yeah for HDTV i should care.. but I see that once the price gets to a certain point there will be other incentives..


think if MLB/NFL/NHL/NBA,etc decided that they wanted their events broadcast in HDTV.. FOX would then have to adapt to that as well.. NHL has already said that HDTV is very important to them as it will help bring the thrill of being there to people at home.. SEEING the plays develop instead of having an overactive camera trying to follow the puck.


What you talk about is more of a moral issue.. should we spend more money curing diseases than on sporting events.. yeah probably but thats just not the society we are.. and in SOME cases thats not too bad of a thing.
 

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Quote:
Exactly how does a broadcast flag have any impact on televising sporting events in HD? Do they plan on re-airing sporting events in syndication?
Major events, like the Superbowl, are later sold on DVD. The sports leagues sell the rights to past events, which you then see on such channels as ESPN Classic.


But you are right, there doesn't seem to be much value to syndication and DVD for typical weekly sports fare, like NFL football on Sunday. I doubt the re-broadcast rights for typical weekly sporting events are worth anywhere remotely close to the syndication rights of say, CSI. But would FOX really jump to HDTV just for sports?
 
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