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Road Runner to get Fox programming

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation inks a deal with Time Warner's and Media One's Road Runner to provide online news and sports programming to customers of the high-speed Net access provider.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation today signed a deal with Time Warner's and MediaOne's Road Runner to provide online news and sports programming to customers of the high-speed Internet service.

It marks News Corporation's first deal to create broadband content for cable modem customers. Some analysts have criticized Murdoch for lagging behind in the Internet market, compared with media giants such as Disney and Time Warner's CNN. But under his youngest son--26-year-old James Murdoch--News America Digital Publishing is becoming more aggressive in the digital realm.

Customized programming from News America Digital Publishing, including Fox Sports Online and Fox News Online, will be piped through Road Runner's high-speed network. This will include video and large format photographs, ideally suited for big Internet pipes.

"Distributing broadband interactive media is an important strategic initiative for [News America Digital Publishing] and this agreement with Road Runner represents a strong first step," James Murdoch said in a statement.

For Road Runner, the deal helps bolster its programming offerings, considered vital for Net access providers to differentiate themselves from competitors.

"Our customers will be able to access additional breaking news and sports information from one of the world's most comprehensive sources," said Carl Rossetti, interim CEO for Road Runner.