FBN to go live Saturdays…

TVNewser reports that FBN will be adding four hours of live TV on Saturdays…

Fox Business Network is adding its first live, regular weekend program, beginning this Saturday. “Your Questions, Your Money Live” will air from 10am-2pmET each Saturday.

This is an odd play for FBN for a couple of reasons.

1) FBN doesn’t have the viewership to justify live weekend programming yet. If FBN had CNBC’s viewership, or something in the neighborhood, it would make more sense. It would force CNBC to respond in kind. As things currently are, CNBC doesn’t have to do anything. FBN will no doubt start flagging ads noting that it’s live on Saturday and CNBC isn’t but given the numbers the network currently (isn’t) getting it’s a Pyrrhic victory. The saying “If a tree falls in the forest…” comes to mind here…

2) FBN vs. FNC. I find it highly interesting that FBN would put this live block starting out up against FNC’s Saturday business block. One is going to cannibalize viewers from the other and given the viewership levels between the two, I expect FNC to hold serve at the expense of FBN. Unless FNC is going to pull a Rabbit out of its hat and dissolve the Saturday business block; something rather unlikely I would think. But then Roger Ailes hasn’t been following the “if it ain’t broke…” rule the past year or so, so who knows?

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8 Responses to “FBN to go live Saturdays…”

  1. FBN will never compete until it gets clearance in more markets. I don’t get it where I live, and have only seen it once in my travels since it debuted.

  2. lurkerlou Says:

    I think this is a good move. 1st, we know FBN can get up to the 100,000 range in ratings from earlier in the economic crisis period.

    So viewers are there to tune into FBN if they want to. I mean, what was CNBC’s signature morning show getting in the ratings a few years back? 150,000 or less with their Squawk Box show? FBN can lure news viewers or CNBC viewers cause they don’t have any live programming at that time.

    2nd, I think FBN’s highest rated show is the Dave Ramsey Show where viewers call in etc… I’ve seen a few specials FBN did on the weekends and they are similar.

    So economic crisis, Dave Ramsey type show, No CNBC programming equals a win win for FBN.

  3. So economic crisis, Dave Ramsey type show, No CNBC programming equals a win win for FBN.

    That’s what they’re thinking I’m sure. Whether it really pans out that way, I have my doubts…

  4. How much cash is FBN losing out on by dumping infomercials? (During the time period in which this new show will air.) I mean, do they get paid only when people buy junk? Do tell!

  5. No, Terence. The company marketing the material on the infomercial pays for the airtime. It’s just like a commercial, except it’s 30 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

    They will certainly lose money, at least initially, because it costs a lot to have a live staff.

  6. topthecharts Says:

    Spud: Your No. 2 was also my immedate thought, although I’m sure this 4-hour show will repeat during the weekend (as does the FNC business block.).

    BigRed: The key to competing with CNBC will be cable systems adding FBN in HD.

  7. Alright, BigRed. How about a comparison between infomercial rates and commercials? For instance, suppose FBN usually aired eight 30 minute infomercials from 10am – 2pm.. And will now be showing regular :30 clips of various products.

    What’s the differential between the two? (I’m not really talking about labor for the staff/on air talent.)

  8. Terence, I don’t know the actual rates. Obviously, they depend on ratings. The higher the ratings, the more you can charge for advertising.

    They’re certainly not raking in a fortune with infomercials, but it is a way to fill the time & make a buck. Not a big one, though.

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