Rupert Murdoch wants Facebook to pay publishers like cable companies

He has spoken…
He has spoken…
Image: AP Photo/Julio Cortez
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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch thinks that Facebook should pay news publishers, just like cable companies pay networks to carry their programming.

The News Corp chairman issued a statement today saying that “publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook,” but are not sufficiently rewarded.

Facebook said last week that publishers determined trustworthy by its users would be seen more often, but if the company really wants to recognize trusted outlets, Murdoch said, “then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies.” Such payments wouldn’t affect Facebook’s business much, given its profit margins, he said. The company’s profit margins have been upwards of 30% over the last couple years.

Murdoch blamed Facebook and Google for popularizing “scurrilous” news sources. While he credits them for recognizing the problem, he says the measures the companies have proposed are inadequate.

“I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.”

Meanwhile, consumers are ditching cable at a faster pace than ever before as cable bills rise and the internet offers more streaming options.