The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai writes about FNC’s upcoming up front…
“We don’t have new programming, but a good story in the elections that drive ratings,” Roger Domal, vp of ad sales, explained one key message to advertisers and media buyers. The fall election is “the Super Bowl of cable news,” but even beyond that, Fox News “is as safe and stable a buy you can make,” Domal continued the pitch. The bottom line for advertisers: “If your brand is a leader, it belongs with the news leader. Great brands go together.”
While all news networks tend to get ratings bumps in election years, Fox News’ hope is to retain new viewers. Executives point to 2009, the year following the last presidential election when it also saw ratings benefits. Ad sales officials will highlight this in their upfront meetings with an eye towards hooking buyers ready to make commitments beyond the elections in November.
”We brought people to the set, and they stayed because they liked it,” Domal said about 2009, pointing out that CNN has historically seen shorter-lived ratings spikes amid major breaking news.
Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne recently estimated that Fox News would bring in revenue of $1.6 billion and operating cash flow of $975 million for the latest fiscal year that ends in June, with others estimating the latter at close to $1 billion. Either way, Fox News is seen as one of News Corp.’s crown jewels. Swinburne estimated its fair-market value at $12.4 billion, making it News Corp.’s most valuable business in his model.