Monday, May 25, 2015

Is Fox News Trying To Cannabilize Its Own Audience to Save Fox Business?

When Fox News launched its sister network, the Fox Business Network (FBN) in 2007, many thought this new foray would destroy NBC's business network, CNBC, in the same way the FNC rose to dominate cable news.  Now, 8 years later, FBN, on a good day,  gets about a third of the audience CNBC does, and only about 11-12% of CNBC's nighttime audience of nearly a half million viewers.

Recently, FBN announced that 'Imus in the Morning' would finally be replaced. It reminded me why -- as an investor -- I never took FBN seriously as a business network.  Don Imus -- an entertainment radio talk show host -- is not my go to source for business information prior to the opening bell.  This was a joke, and one reason I could never take FBN seriously. Maria Bartiromo is taking the spot. The fact that, now, after 8 years, they just figured this out is amazing.

For months now, Fox News has been trying to save FBN.  Wherever possible, they will raise a topic where one of the FBN hosts is invited in to comment.  Then, at the end of the segment, they make sure you know that if you want hear more from whoever the analyst  was, you can tune into FBN at such and such a time and, if you don't know where FBN is on your system, you can always go to "".  Really? People aren't watching FBN because they can't find it?

Basically, I don't think Fox Business is long for this world.  The Imus move is a dollar short and more than 2500 days late.  Also, they're lucky to have as much traffic as they already have.  On most cable and satellite systems, they are an upper tier channel.  Thus, they have less potential viewers than CNBC which is part of the basic package for most cable and satellite systems.  For FBN, 'Taps' is long overdue and Fox has to be losing money everyday this network remains broadcasting.

Lastly, Fox Business should never have tried to go head-to-head with CNBC.   What they should have done is focus on being a market investing education channel with hourly tips and teaching segments.  That, in itself, would have naturally attracted more viewers.  Just my opinion.


Cable News Ratings:

Fox Business Network New Lineup: Don Imus Replaced by Maria Bartiromo:

Fox Business Network:

Channel Finder - See Where You Can Watch Fox Business:



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