In a sweeping deal, Fox Interactive Media will manage 160 Fox affiliate websites and bring them into the MyFox network — the same network already in use by Fox’s owned-and-operated station sites. “It’s important for local affiliate stations to have a web strategy and compelling online content, and we believe the MyFox platform is the best solution to help them deliver it,” said Joe Denk, chairman of the Fox affiliate board of governors. As part of the deal, FIM will have access to half of the inventory on the sites for national inventory, and the revenue share arrangement will be “similar” to Fox’s earlier arrangement to stream network shows on affiliate sites. One of the biggest Fox affiliate ownership groups, Sinclair, is still evaluating its options and is not part of the 160 site deal.
The move fits an urgency in the media industry to scale up quickly to attract higher-quality national advertisers who are hungry for unique, easily-executed, targeted campaigns across a large audience. Two semi-recent examples are Internet Broadcasting’s deal with CNN and Yahoo’s newspaper consortium. And I imagine you’ll see plenty more ad network partnerships in the near future.