It’s all about the “now” at Fox Corp., the revamped company, following the 21st Century Fox deal to sell half of its movies and TV business to Walt Disney.
Actually, it’s the “power of now,” said Lachlan Murdoch, CEO, Fox, during its investor day event last year. Exactly what does that mean? For many, it’s all about live TV viewing, plain and simple.
It’s no secret that Fox intends to focus on live sports and news -- NFL, Major League Baseball, NCAA Football programming on the Fox broadcast network and Fox Sports networks. News programming stays on Fox News Channel and Fox Business.
Murdoch says 70% of its ad revenues are devoted to news, sports and other live events. The other 30% will come from scripted, reality-TV and other entertainment programming on mostly its broadcast network.
Overall, Fox will get half of its revenue from advertising and half from affiliate relations, or fees for programming.
Figure that all this goes hand in hand with Fox shying away from new digital OTT platforms, which a Fox executive alluded to recently. Perhaps Fox sees competition with bigger players like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and forthcoming ones from Disney, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia.
New TV/movie studio-based companies can house a huge amount of content comprised of new, on-demand scripted and library entertainment programming.
Not that there isn’t live programming on OTT platforms. For Fox, there is Fox Sports, which delivers live sports content. In addition, there is Fox Nation, a digital spinoff of its Fox News Channel, which has some live programming.
Fox’s hope going forward is that live programming will continue to get premium pricing -- above and beyond what other networks get do. That’s where the 70% number comes in.
But is that enough? The modern TV consumer wants all types of options when it comes to TV consumption. Seems they want on-demand, individual live TV platforms (OTT and linear), as well as some new digital pay TV providers that have live, linear TV networks.
Analysts can’t figure out the exact formula for tracking consumers. We can guess younger TV consumers have a much different view. For older viewers, there is a more predictable outcome.
So where does Fox see itself in this audience-based advertising world? Fox is still focused on new audience targets, as evidence of its continued support in being one of the founding members of OpenAP.
Still, while talking up the importance of “power of now,” others may read into all of this something different -- especially at the upfront.