Fox Business Network, Rupert Murdoch’s upstart business channel, has previously said that it might begin releasing its Nielsen rating data by now. But that’s not going to happen, says TVNewser, and that’s because Fox wants it that way. Why doesn’t Fox want to share? Three reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive:
- Uh, no reason at all, says a Nielsen spokesperson. Sometimes new channels don’t release their numbers for a year or more. Fox Biz (NWS) has only been up and running for six months.
- Fox thinks Nielsen’s numbers are wrong; its top salesguy cites “accuracy issues.”
- The logical conclusion: Fox Biz has minuscule numbers and doesn’t want to be embarassed by them.
TVNewser doesn’t spell that last point out, but we will: When last we heard from Fox Biz, they were averaging about 6,300 viewers per hour — or about 2% of CNBC’s audience. No one expects FBN to catch up to its competitor overnight — for one thing, CNBC has about 3x more distribution than FBN does — but presumably if they were making headway, they’d be more eager to get those numbers out by now.
And this isn’t just about bragging rights: At least one major media buyer has said that it won’t be paying for ad space on cable networks that don’t release their Nielsen numbers, unless they get some viewing data they can trust.
So we’re left with the question we always have when we talk about Fox Biz: Do you know anyone who watches?
Addendum: A reader wants us note that, per TVN, Fox Biz has indeed beaten CNBC in two different hours this spring: “The network’s 8pmET offering, The Dave Ramsey Show, has topped business news competitor CNBC twice in the A25-54 demo. Ramsey topped a Fast Money re-air on March 26 (41K v. 28K) and beat High Net Worth on April 11 (52K v. 38K)” Fox has aired approximately 2,200 hours of programming since it launched, but a win (or two) is a win.
See Also: Fox Biz: No One’s Watching
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