On May 23, 1994, as part of a broad deal that also saw News Corporation acquire a 20% equity interest in the company, New World Communications signed a long-term agreement to affiliate its nine CBS-, ABC- or NBC-affiliated television stations with Fox, which sought to strengthen its affiliate portfolio after the National Football League (NFL) accepted the network's $1.58 billion bid for the television rights to the National Football Conference (NFC) – a four-year contract that began with the 1994 NFL season – on December 18, 1993. WITI-TV was among the stations involved in the Fox agreement, which also initially included four of New World's other existing CBS-affiliated stations — WJBK-TV, WJW-TV, WTVT and WAGA-TV — and four additional stations — CBS affiliate KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, ABC affiliates WBRC-TV in Birmingham and WGHP in Greensboro–Winston-Salem–High Point, North Carolina, and NBC affiliate WDAF-TV in Kansas City — that were part of New World's concurrent $360-million acquisition of Great American Communications's television properties. (The agreement would subsequently be amended to include four additional stations that New World acquired later that month from Argyle Television Holdings.) At the time, Fox's owned-and-operated and affiliate stations were mostly UHF outlets that had limited to no prior history as major network affiliates, among them its existing Milwaukee outlet, WCGV-TV (channel 24), which had been affiliated with Fox since the network inaugurated prime time programming in April 1987. Although WCGV had become a formidable competitor to rival independent WVTV, Fox found the prospect to having its programming carried on a VHF station too much to resist, considering that WITI had a relatively stronger market position (although, at the time, channel 6 placed third – behind WTMJ-TV and WISN-TV – in total day and news viewership) and a long-respected local news operation.