“Our independence allows us to question every assumption about what it means to be a broadcast network," Collier said, speaking at the recent Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills.
In the truest sense of the word, Fox won’t really be that. Independent from what?
Tell me that Fox won’t be taking premium TV programs from all Hollywood studios/producers -- the same ones that have been delivering prime-time programming on broadcast networks and cable network TV programming for decades. If that's the case, Fox would be truly independent.
Tell me Fox won’t be taking established sports, like NFL and Major League Baseball. That would be an independent move.
Sure, Fox will get to pick and choose. But this is like going to a candy store and deciding between jelly beans, sour-patch watermelon candies and swirl lollipops to get a healthy snack.
It doesn't matter what you choose, you’ll still get fat. Empty calories will prevail. Not to say that candy isn’t fun. Sometimes.
Critics will argue in the world of premium TV, quality shows are everywhere. Fine. Just don’t call taking those shows being independent. Fox is no renegade these days -- although many media historians may cite the network’s early years as such.
Many TV network structures -- ABC, NBC and CBS, all with sister TV and movie production studios -- help to keep things financially healthy and diversified in a fast-moving world.
Collier's idea is that while competitors are scaling up -- especially when it comes to producing, owning and selling TV shows to traditional TV and virtual TV distributors worldwide -- Fox gets flexibility in slimming down.
Sure. But does it have flexibility and clout?
Independence as a TV network is great when program suppliers are desperate to sell a glut of quality TV shows. Is that the case right now? It seems many diversified media/TV companies are doing well when it comes to content revenue sales.
Yes, there are lots of producers out there -- and growing with Netflix, Amazon and others. But there are also many more virtual TV networks and TV-centric app platforms looking to buy content, too.
TV networks increasingly need to quickly change and add more premium TV shows, and other content, to pull in TV viewers. They, in turn, are fractionalizing media, with many more options vying for their attention.
Independence is the wrong word. Call it interdependence.