Blog Post

Chernin: News Corp. Won't Sever Ties With Apple Buts Wants To Talk About Pricing

News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) isn’t inclined to follow JV partner NBCU’s (NYSE: GE) lead when it comes to serving a non-renewal notice for video downloads through Apple’s iTunes store, according to COO Peter Chernin. In an interview with Reuters during a trip to Poland, Chernin said the company would like to discuss Apple’s pricing structures for shows such as 24 and Prison Break, but the two companies are not engaged in any dispute. Chernin: “Right now we have a perfectly good relationship with Apple. But let me say this, we’re the ones who should determine what the fair price for our product is, not Apple.”

So far, the Apple-NBCU discussions appear to be at a public impasse although parties have said they hope to reach an agreement. The current contract expires in early December. NBCU wants flexibility in pricing and piracy controls. As reported last week, Apple has been talking with content providers about cutting the basic price of TV downloads by half to 99 cents.

Other issues Cherin discussed in the interview:

— his view that Facebook, a rival to its Fox Interactive property MySpace, would not be put up for sale anytime soon.
— News Corp. is not in discussions with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) about selling off a piece of MySpace.
— News Corp. is considering purchasing the Turkish broadcast entity ATV and Sabah newspaper, which are said to have a combined asking price of $1.1 billion.