21st Century Fox is in talks to operate television stations across the U.S. with Ion Media Networks, potentially paving the way for Fox to dump Sinclair Broadcast Group as an affiliate partner, a person familiar with the situation said. Closely held Ion would contribute its more than 60 independent stations to the joint venture, while Fox would throw in its 28 stations, which include top markets such as New York and Los Angeles. As part of the deal, Fox would consider switching its affiliation to Ion from Sinclair for 26 stations that are up for renewal this year, said the person, who asked not to be identified.
The Big Five plus Univision have all suffered ratings declines with 18-49s this season. But Telemundo and a host of smaller networks are growing.
The programming service’s fall launch week kicks off tonight, highlighted by the season 4 premiere of original series Saving Hope at 11 p.m. ET.
Ion Television is adding a syndication run of ABC’s Canadian-produced police drama Rookie Blue to its general entertainment lineup in the fall.
Hulu Plus and CBS announce new SVOD deal for CBS drama starring Tom Selleck. WGN America acquires exclusive basic cable rights while Ion gets exclusive weekday, primetime rights for off-net episodes.
CBS is expected to announce an SVOD deal for the Tom Selleck crime drama as well as pacts with both WGN America and Ion.
It buys the off-net rights to all 10 seasons of the NBC-USA drama, the day after adding Numbers to its lineup.