In its first broadband-programming deal, News Corp.'s
interactive-media division is creating news and sports content for Road Runner under a
partnership with the cable-modem online service.
Under the agreement announced last week -- the first of
several broadband-content deals that News America Digital Publishing expects to disclose
in the next 30 days -- News America will offer Fox News and Fox Sports programming
tailored specifically for Road Runner's high-bandwidth network beginning in the
Rather than repurposing its existing Web-site offerings,
NADP plans to go heavy on features utilizing Road Runner's bandwidth: higher-quality
on-demand video, both live and recorded; large-format detailed photos; and a special
On its own site, the company features Fox-produced and wire
service text, plus downloadable video clips and live Fox News Channel feeds
"What we're doing is clearly moving the video --
and it's the on-demand video -- to the center of the user's experience and
adding additional packaging to stories that are further interactive embellishments of what
is coming across in the video," said Jordan Kurzweil, NADP's vice president of
"At the beginning, we're looking predominantly at
on-demand content and news packages," Kurzweil added.
Karl Rogers, Road Runner's vice president of
programming, said broadband-sports content would initially focus on baseball, which just
began spring training, and basketball, which is approaching the college version's
"March Madness" playoff season.
Rogers added that Fox's regionally focused sports
platform matched well with Road Runner's own local- and regional-programming
structure. Beyond that, he said, the company was impressed primarily by Fox's
commitment to provide content exploiting Road Runner's broadband platform.
"They are very interested and very competent in the
area of integrating multimedia -- whether sound, motion, or video -- into their product
offering," Rogers said.
Road Runner is actively negotiating with about one-dozen
other content providers, and it expects to announce further deals in the coming weeks, he