The Wrap’s Brian Flood has a story which is baaaaad news for CNBC…
Fox Business is finally in a position to surpass CNBC as the go-to network for breaking business news.
The network soared above its arch rival in total viewers every hour of the day from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m. when the Dow Jones reached a record high of 20,000 points last Wednesday.
Fox Business averaged 253,000 business day viewers when CNBC averaged only 178,000. Among the key news demo of adults age 25-54, FBN also averaged 41,000, versus 26,000 for CNBC.
Fox Business is on pace to close January with the fourth consecutive monthly win in business day in total viewers. Business day is essentially primetime for CNBC and Fox Business, as both networks focus the stock market and financial programming.
CNBC is expected to pick up a monthly win among the key demo, but Fox Business’ four straight total-viewer victories has never happened in the nine-year history of the network.
Though Flood’s opening sentence is dubious at best – ratings success is a separate issue from the one of who is outscooping whom – there’s enough bad news here that Comcast is going to have to take a keener interest in the goings on at Englewood Cliffs.
NBC Universal pulled CNBC out of Nielsen ratings over out of home sampling issues so they can stall for a bit on responding publicly to the fact that FBN may now be a serious threat to the network’s perceived dominance (though I remain somewhat skeptical when FBN does head scratching things like not offering west coast repeats for new episodes of its most successful taped show Strange Inheritance).
Ultimately, however, the fact that FBN is now pulling in big enough numbers to put CNBC into second place in P2+ means the network has a very large PR stick it can swing around and score real blows against its New Jersey based competitor. Out of Nielsen or not, that is something that the folks who run CNBC can’t ignore for long because nobody else is ignoring it. CNBC is in trouble and if things keep going like this much longer, heads are going to start rolling.