Fox may limit access to Super Bowl stream to authenticated pay TV subs

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Fox may restrict access to an online video feed of the 2014 Super Bowl to subscribers of pay TV providers it has signed to TV Everywhere authentication deals, Fox Sports Media Group co-COO Randy Freer said Wednesday.

NBC and the NFL offered a free online video version of the 2011 Super Bowl, and CBS and the league offered free access to live streaming video from Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013. But Freer told attendees at the Sports Business Technology Summit in New York that Fox is talking to the league about only offering online video from the 2014 championship game to authenticated subscribers.

Fox parent News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) sparked some controversy in 2011 when it announced that it would pull complete episode of hit Fox series from Fox.com and limit access to Family GuyFringe and other series to authenticated cable and satellite subscribers. Fox has authentication agreements with AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse TV, Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS TV, Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH), Mediacom Communications and a handful of small cable operators.

But the network lacks authentication deals with several major distributors, including Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR). Fox and the NFL could face backlash from both distributors and viewers if it moves forward with a plan to limit streaming video from the 2014 Super Bowl to authenticated subscribers if it fails to reach agreements with major distributors by February.

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Mediapost has this story

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