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February 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The head of affiliate sales and marketing for Fox Broadcasting has made it clear that he no longer intends to negotiate with the Fox affiliate board and will instead deal with individual stations and station groups to get a piece of the payments that those stations receive from cable and satellite operators.

Mike Hopkins

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Mike Hopkins indicated that if talks with current affiliates fail, he is prepared to “pursue different distribution channels” including signing up new affiliates or, as a last resort, “we might be better off not being broadcasters in that market and be a cable channel.” Hopkins maintained that currently the Fox network is not profitable and that the only way it can turn a profit is by having a dual income stream — from advertisers and from stations. “We think certainly when X Factor comes out in the fall by far and away we’ll be the number one network for a very long time if it does what we think we will do. It’s nonsensical that the number one network in America can’t make a profit.” A source at one Fox affiliate told Broadcasting & Cable that Hopkins’s position represented “open warfare” against the affiliates.