Fox boss: Netflix deals have opened a 'Pandora's box'

Screen | 1/31/2018 | Staff
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Fox boss Gary Newman has claimed that Netflix has opened a “Pandora’s box” by agreeing a £215m deal with Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

The Fox Television Group co-chairman has claimed that the Murphy mega-deal symbolises “a change in the industry” in which cash-rich companies such as Netflix lure premium talent with whopping paychecks.

Exec - Century - Fox - Television - Studio

The exec, who oversees the 20th Century Fox Television studio as well as broadcaster Fox with co-chair Dana Walden, warned that the model will prove to be unsustainable.

“It’s difficult when you make one person an offer and someone else says, ‘You mean to tell me Ryan Murphy is worth this amount but you think I’m only worth a fraction of that? Maybe I’ll go somewhere else where I’m more valued’,” he said.

Challenges - Economics - Deals

“They are going to have some challenges managing their economics on these deals.”

The global SVoD swooped in on the American Horror Story creator in February, heralding an end to the super-producer’s long-term partnership with Fox that spanned shows from Fox’s Glee and Scream Queens to FX’s Feud and American Crime Story (pictured).

Newman - Timing - Move - Murphy - Contract

Newman blamed “really unfortunate timing” for the move, with Murphy renegotiating his contract with Fox just as Disney’s acquisition plans emerged.

“If this merger had already happened and Ryan was comfortable with the management, then we probably would have been able to close a deal with him,” he said. “We were prepared to step up and really financially reward him in a way that would have been pretty meaningful.”

Newman - Century - Fox - Television - Walden

Newman, who has led 20th Century Fox Television since 1999 with Walden in one of the industry’s most enduring partnerships, said broadcasters face “new challenges” in the current climate of consolidation, but maintains his belief in the broadcast model.

“There is no platform that is more lucrative and culturally resonant than broadcast television,” he declared.

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