Under the agreement, Fox will employ a verification system from Teletrax to track how its promo content is used by stations. Networks have a vested interest in seeing that stations do not preempt spots they are contractually obligated to run on behalf of the network for their own use, either for promos or paid avails.
An e-mail to a Fox representative did not receive an immediate response.
In announcing the move, careful language was used to avoid any hint of Big Brother. Instead, it was positioned as a chance to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fox promos. It said Teletrax will allow Fox to "better understand the needs of its affiliates, resulting in the ability to quickly and efficiently adjust its promotional offerings...and increase the effectiveness of network promotions, allowing the more precise measurement of return-on-investment and maximization of overall profits."
Michelle Garry, executive director of affiliate marketing at Fox, says the network considers affiliates true partners. It strives to provide them with every marketing tool they need to make promoting their prime programming easy and effective. "Only by analyzing what they are using can we accomplish this goal," she explains. "We believe our ability to provide a better product will enhance our relationships with affiliates. It is truly a win-win situation."
Teletrax, part of Medialink Worldwide, offers a digital video watermarking and content monitoring service.