How Much Will Fox-time Warner Deal Cost?
Four days after Time Warner Cable and Fox Broadcasting signed a beyond-the-last-minute retransmission consent agreement that averted a blackout of Fox programs, there was still no indication of how it would affect the monthly bills of the cable company's subscribers. Both companies have declined to disclose the terms of their agreement. Fox had demanded $1.00 per subscriber per month, a figure that Time Warner Cable insisted was too high and would have to be passed on to its customers. It also warned that it would open the floodgates for demands from other networks for similar fee hikes. Indeed, there was much speculation that a previous agreement between Time Warner Cable and CBS that called for a 50-cent increase contained a "most favored nation" clause that would raise the fee if a greater amount was paid to a rival broadcast network. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Craig Moffett, an analyst at financial researchers Sanford C. Bernstein, observed that if all of the major networks succeeded in securing a $1.00-per-month increase for each cable subscriber, that would result in an additional cost to the cable companies of $5 billion per year, most or all of which would be passed on to subscribers. Meanwhile the HGTV and Food Network channels remained dark in most parts of New York City and other nearby areas served by Cablevision Systems, as Scripps Networks Interactive pulled those channels after failing to reach a new retransmission agreement before January 1. Scripps reportedly is demanding 75 cents per subscriber per month, a 200-percent increase.