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Fifteen years ago this month, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News. At the time, cable industry executives were skeptical of the idea—News Corp. had to buy its way on to cable, paying system operators an estimated $300 million just to get them to carry the new network. Those taking Murdoch’s money thought they were getting a sweetheart deal.
“If you were a cable operator and you looked at it in cynical terms, you’d say, ‘They won’t succeed, I won’t have to carry them for more than four years, and I get the $10 [per subscriber] up front,’” says Tim Carry, Fox News’ executive vice president of affiliate sales, who has been with Fox since the beginning.