Fox Business Network Limps Out Of The Gate

The new Fox Business Network may not be living up to the hype.

Although Nielsen ratings are not being officially released, numbers have leaked that don’t auger well for Murdoch’s new baby:

“After less than three months on the air, Fox Business Network is averaging a mere 6,000 viewers in daytime and 15,000 in primetime”

Putting that in perspective, FBN’s main competition is CNBC which averages 284,000 viewers in total day and 238,000 in primetime. And CNBC passes 90 million homes, about three times as many as FBN. Of course, it is still too early to gloat, but the network’s honchos led us to believe that they had much higher expectations. Roger Ailes told us that he would not settle for “anything short of a revolution.” And Murdoch gave this comment a few days after the launch:

“It’s two and a half to three days old and looks just terrific. Everybody, even in the industry, (recognizes) how different it is to CNBC, which is half-dead,”

It appears that the FBN revolution is having a little trouble taking on their half-dead competition. Time will deliver a fuller picture, but clearly FBN has work to do. However, rather than getting down to business, FBN’s executive vice president, Kevin Magee, is just sniping at CNBC, whom he accuses of having leaked these numbers:

“They spent dearly to get [FBN ratings], which is pretty crazy […] I think it shows how uber-concerned they are about us.”

Actually, it’s pretty much routine to get competitive ratings from Nielsen. And when you consider that Murdoch is well known for deficit financing his ventures indefinitely, it is a fairly hollow complaint that CNBC is investing in itself. This sort of griping just makes one wonder who is uber-concerned about whom?