The increasingly contentious fee negotiations between the Fox network and its affiliates spilled out into the public this week as private letters between the two parties were leaked to the press.
Fox said that it would “have to pursue different distribution channels” if a new agreement cannot be reached with affiliates. The affiliate board shot back saying that Fox was trying “to divide and conquer.”
One affiliate source told Broadcasting & Cable that the network “has declared open warfare.”
B&C spoke with Mike Hopkins, Fox’s president of affiliate sales and marketing, and he tried to ease the tension:
I don’t think it’s open warfare. I think we’re having good, productive negotiations with lots of affiliates right now. Some of them may just not have businesses that are doing very well for other reasons other than these costs. And these costs may end up being the thing that tips it over, which is why we have to go case by case there’s no one-size-fits all solution for these guys.