Finally, FOX has decided to offer its content on the Internet. While ABC, NBC, and CBS were all tripping over themselves to provide webcasts and downloads, FOX seemed to be noticeably lagging behind. Not any more - soon The Simpsons will be (legally) available on the web. Hoards of fans are anxious to see if 24 will be on the menu. I personally can't wait.
FOX has tons of programming that will only provide more options in choices and expand the overall impact of Internet TV viewing. FOX states that some of its shows will be available the morning after they air, but I havent seen anything saying which shows or how many will be available.
However, FOX is doing things a little differently. It has decided to make this a revenue sharing deal with its local affiliate stations.
The affiliates are caught in a kind of Catch-22. Their ratings are plummeting, in part because young people in particular are spending more time on the web. Advertisers, taking note of these changes, are spending more on so-called new media and less on traditional TV.
Now the affiliates must share some of their rebroadcast rights with the other media. The networks have the right to “repurpose” some percentage of their programs for other media.
But the deal Fox has made with its affiliates will not only allow the local stations to share in the revenue from web rebroadcasts but will also steer traffic to the local web sites for program downloads. That will allow them to market directly to Internet users.
This is, as I said, great for the strengthening of the market, but still leaves a whole lot of room to keep growing. FOX has said nothing about its cable channel FX, which has some very popular shows that are nowhere on the Internet. Besides, it still seems like all the networks are only offering their most popular shows. I only wish FOX had tried this a couple of years ago, then maybe Firefly would still be on.