Survey Says…

Late last year ICN noted that CNBC was conducting an online survey of business news talent including rival FBN. Well it appears NBC is still interested in FBN, not to mention the other news channels and the broadcast news programs. An emailer sent ICN some screen grabs from another online survey from a forum I had not heard of before; News:VIPs.

Market research is nothing new in TV and online research is just the modern way of quickly getting feedback. I had known that NBC Entertainment had been doing online surveys for years because I was a surveyee back before I started blogging. CNBC had been doing its own surveys unbeknownst to me…until those screen grabs surfaced last year. But now there’s apparently a third survey group being conducted for NBC News.

The grabs that were forwarded to me were pretty generic stuff, guaging the amount of time viewers watch a given network in daytime and primetime and how much certain shows were watched. My immediate reaction to this particular survey was that this wouldn’t reveal anything that NBC couldn’t already get from Nielsen ratings. So, why bother? But the one survey question that caught my eye is the one you see here (click for full size version). It asks the surveyee how long they watch a given network starting at 7pm. MSNBC, CNN, FNC, and FBN are the channels listed. But, interestingly, CNBC is not.

What makes all this noteworthy is the manner in which NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker recently all but dismissed FBN as a network

Zucker is asked about the competition now between Fox Business Network and CNBC, and brushes off the new network. “It focused us and made us better,” he said. “Really, at this point, Fox Business Network is not in any way a threat to CNBC. It’s not even, frankly, in the same universe with us.”

If it’s not even in the same universe, why is NBC concerned enough to include FBN in a survey? It didn’t include HLN in the survey but did include FBN. When Zucker said that I wrote “Once again, FBN has been handed something to beat CNBC over the head with any time it does anything that looks even remotely like it was based on or in reaction to something FBN did.” This survey is precisely the kind of thing I was thinking about…

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