Fox Exploring VOD Flexibility

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Sean Mota

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Fox Broadcasting Co. is in the early phase of discussions with its program suppliers to obtain rights to experiment with distributing Fox Network shows in a promising new after-market being created by video-on-demand technology.

In exchange for those rights, Fox is offering to shorten the window for the release of the same shows on DVD, which is another rapidly growing new market that is already producing significant ancillary revenue.

Fox and 20th Century Fox Television are already experimenting with the new technology. They are in talks to extend for a third year the deal with Cablevision Systems in New York to use the drama "24" as part of the multiple system operator's field testing of VOD. The FX cable network, a sister channel to Fox, has also licensed its hit show "The Shield," produced by Fox TV Studios, to be used as part of the tests. The first year of the test the two shows were offered to viewers for free. The second year viewers had to pay $19.95 for a full season of either show or $1.95 for individual episodes.

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