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Fox Soccer Channel Eyes Relaunch As FX Sister Channel Targeting Younger Viewers

By | Thursday January 17, 2013 @ 4:43pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

First American soccer lost its biggest star, British import David Beckham, now it is about to lose its dedicated cable channel. Fox Networks is planning to relaunch its Fox Soccer Channel as an FX-branded entertainment cable network, a sibling to the cable network that airs Sons Of Anarchy, Louie and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Information about the plan, which is in advanced stages and is already being presented to ad buyers to gauge their interest, was reported by Broadcast & Cable and the LA Times. According to sources, the FX offshoot, dubbed FXX, would be geared towards younger viewers with an emphasis on comedy, creating a cable tandem similar to TNT-TBS where TNT is more older-skewing and drama-focused and TBS goes for younger viewers with comedies. Like its big brother FX, FXX would feature original programming, in addition to some repurposed shows and theatrical movies from FX and fellow sibling FX Movie Channel. There is talk about moving some younger-skewing comedy series from FX to FXX to further differentiate the two networks’ identities. Fox has yet to begin talks with MSO and satellite operators about switching Fox Soccer Channel and its 75 million homes to FXX.

The future of the Fox Soccer Channel had been in limbo ever since Fox and ESPN in October lost the rights to the English Premier League to NBC and its fledgling NBC Sports Network. The remaining soccer … Read More »

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Fox Networks Ups Pair In Marketing Unit

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 4:29pm PDT

Fox Networks marketing executives Bonnie O’Donnell and Jody Vogelaar have been promoted to Vice President, Distribution Marketing for Fox Networks (FN), it was announced today by Jamia Bigalow, Senior Vice President, Distribution Marketing, to whom both will report. These moves split the responsibilities of the vacated position formerly held by Sol Doten, who recently moved into a new role within FN as Vice President, Communications. Ms. O’Donnell will oversee distribution marketing strategy for the sports networks and their non-linear extensions including FOX Sports, FSN and 20 regional sports networks, SPEED, SPEED2, Big Ten Network, FUEL TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox College Sports. Additionally, Ms. O’Donnell will play a significant role with the distribution marketing strategy of Fox Global Networks (FGN). Mr. Doten, an 18-year veteran of Fox, is segueing from marketing to a new role working with Fox Networks Group’s head of communications, Scott Grogin.

 

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Kurt Sutter On DirecTV-Fox Nets Carriage Dispute: ‘They Can’t F–K With ‘SOA”’

By | Tuesday October 25, 2011 @ 1:46pm PDT

Kurt Sutter, the colorful creator and showrunner of  FX’s biker drama hit Sons of Anarchy, is never one to miss an opportunity to defend the honor of his show and his network. He’s gotten into hot water in the past for speaking a bit too passionately on Twitter, so he took down his account. Now Sutter has leaped into the fray on his personal blog, Sutter Ink, to voice his displeasure with DirecTV for what he perceives as the satcaster holding Fox’s cable networks (including FX) hostage in a carriage dispute that could result in the nets being dropped by DirecTV on November 1. FX enlisted Sutter to film a promo urging fans to weigh in but didn’t let him use his prepared, profanity-laden script. But that didn’t stop Sutter from posting on his blog the entire promo writeup that includes lines like, “DirecTV is shutting down all conversation and using their customers as leverage. In the process, you’re getting fucked over.” Sutter also took time to praise FX chief John Landgraf. “If it weren’t for that guy,” Sutter wrote, “I’d be selling star maps and handjobs in front of the Motherlode.”

Here’s the full text of Sutter’s typically passionate post:

I just did a promo that will air before Tuesday night’s episode. It’s aim is to mobilize fans against DirecTV. But they refused to let me speak honestly, I had to follow an FX legal script that felt like complete bullshit. I’m sure it will serve it’s purpose, but I feel compelled to let SOA fans know what I WANTED to say.

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Fox Takes DirecTV Carriage War To L.A. Times Sports Page

With a November 1 deadline looming, News Corp. today purchased a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times sports section warning DirecTV customers that the satcaster was poised to drop nine networks if Fox’s dispute with DirecTV isn’t settled by month’s end. The full-color ad featured the heavy-handed banner ‘GAME OVER’ along with game pictures of USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins football and Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks ice hockey, all of which are threatened should the regional sports networks Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket be dropped. The ad then lists the networks that DirecTV could force to go dark: FS West, Prime Ticket, FX, Speed, National Geographic Channel, Fox Soccer, Fox Deportes, Fuel TV and Fox Movie Channel. “And soon,” the advertisement continues, “you could even lose Fox 11 and My 13,” specifically targeting viewers in Southern California. The Times ad then implores sports fans to “Get direct with DirecTV” by logging onto KeepMyNets.com or calling 866-KEEP-MY-NETS. As reported Thursday by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, DirecTV claims in its statement that Fox is seeking a 40% increase in its license fees.

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Fox Cable Networks May Go Dark On DirecTV On Nov. 1 Over Carriage Dispute

Nellie Andreeva

Another major carriage dispute threatens to pull Fox’s cable networks from DirecTV systems on November 1. The affected networks include FX (including its hit Sons Of Anarchy and hot newcomer American Horror Story), National Geographic Channel, Speed, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer, Fox Movie Channel, Fox Deportes, and the 19 Fox regional sports networks. Fox Networks’ previous carriage agreement with DirecTV expired on September 30. After extending the talks, no progress was made, leading to a standoff between the two sides that may lead to the blackout. Exactly a year ago, the same networks went dark on DirecTV’s rival satcaster Dish Network before the two sides finally reached a new agreement. Like in previous carriage fights, both sides released dueling statements and launched competing websites — KeepMyNets.com (Fox) and OurPromiseToYou.com (DirecTV). In its statement, DirecTV claims that Fox is seeking a 40% license-fee increase. Here are the two statements: Read More »

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Fox Networks Distribution Unveils Reorg

By | Monday September 26, 2011 @ 6:11am PDT

In a move designed to better align the division’s leadership, Fox Networks (FN) Distribution President Mike Hopkins today announced a restructuring of the group’s operations. Executive Vice President Michael Biard will be assuming additional responsibilities, with Senior Vice President of Advanced Services Julie Simon now reporting to him. Additionally, cable industry distribution veteran Steve Carcano is joining FN as Senior Vice President, National Accounts reporting to Mr. Biard, and Kris Nielsen-Refs will become FN’s new Vice President, Digital Distribution, reporting to Ms. Simon.

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Fox Restricts Online Access To New Shows; For 8 Days Only Customers Of An Authorized Service Can See Them

LOS ANGELES – Fox Networks and Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) today announced that beginning August 15, video distributors that participate in the company’s online authentication service will have an exclusive 8-day window for new episodes of FOX programs. To watch new episodes of FOX shows the next day, viewers can visit Fox.com, Hulu.com, Dishonline.com or the online TV portals of any future participating distributors and log in with their subscriber usernames and passwords. Viewers who do not subscribe to a participating distributor will be able to watch new episodes online eight days following their initial air dates.

DISH Network will be the first to offer this service, allowing their verified subscribers to take advantage of the exclusive window and view new episodes of FOX shows the day after they air on broadcast television.

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Latest Retrans Fight: Fox Cable vs Dish TV

UPDATE: Fox Networks and Dish Network are yet to start talks about restoring FX, National Geographic Channel and 19 regional sports networks on Dish systems. The cable networks were pulled at midnight after the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a new carriage deal, with talks breaking off shortly before the midnight deadline. In the meanwhile, accusations are flying from both sides. “Fox is demanding a new contract with an unprecedented rate increase of more than 50 percent,” Dish said in a statement. “Fox has flatly refused DISH Network’s request to allow customers to continue to watch these Fox channels during the negotiations.” Fox is vigorously disputing both claims, calling the 50% figure “absurd” and stating that it was Dish that refused to keep the networks on while negotiations continue and it never asked for an extension of the two sides’ existing deal. “The proposal we’ve offered DISH is fair and in line with the tremendous value we provide,” Fox Networks said in a statement. With the carriage dispute on the cable side escalating, Fox and Dish have not even started discussing a new retransmission consent agreement for the Fox stations as the current one expires at the end of the month. Those talks will certainly include a demand for retransmission consent fees by Fox, something that put the company at odds with Time Warner Cable in December and threatened the network’s coverage of the college football championship games. Similarly, the end of Fox stations’ agreement with Dish will coincide with the network’s coverage of the World Series. Read More »

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