Cablevision Could Pay Fox Premium Retrans Fees

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Reading the tea leaves of Cablevision System Corp. moves, one Wall Street financial group believes the big cable operator may already have estimated a Fox retransmission fee deal at a premium $1 a subscriber per-month cost.  

RBC Capital Markets says the key comes from Cablevision's decision to give back consumers some $10 a month from mlb.com, which it sells, and where one can see the World Series. All that equates to a big premium for Fox.

Also factored into the analysis: The World Series comprises 13% of Fox's programming for one week and 3% over one month. From this, Cablevision is -- in effect -- paying more than $1 per subscriber per month, according to RBC Capital Markets. Fox may be looking for that high premium in its retrans deals for its broadcast stations.

RBC Capital Markets writes in the blog "Is Fox Broadcast Worth $10 this month?": "We think it illustrates a very important data point for the fight of retransmission consent -- the value of broadcast network programming."

Looking at the additional $80 million Fox allegedly wanted from Cablevision, RBC Capital Markets says this equates to $2 per subscriber per month for retrans fees for Fox and MyNetwork TV stations.

This number might be lower -- in theory -- for those TV stations. News Corp. said there is also a suite of cable networks that it wants to include in the negotiations, such as Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, and FX.

Chase Carey, president and COO of News Corp., had already said the Fox network should be as much as $5 per subscriber per month -- especially when ESPN is getting $4 a month -- after factoring in the viewership the Fox network gets versus ESPN's audience.

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