In a move designed to boost ratings, Fox Business Network announced today that a number of distributors have agreed to make the network available to all their subscribers on Tuesday when it telecasts the next GOP debate.
According to FBN, distributors who have agreed to “unbundle” the network include DirecTV, Suddenlink, Mediacom, Frontier, Wide Open West, and Cable One, and an unnamed “significant number of National Cable Television Cooperative member companies.”
In today’s news, FBN said it “is available in more than 70 million homes in major markets,” pre-unbundling. Nielsen’s November estimate for Fox Business Network is 83 million homes nationwide, and SNL Kagan shows 82 million homes nationwide for the network this year.
In comparison, CNBC’s is estimated to be available in 93-97 million homes, depending on your source. And CNBC clocked a network record of 14 million viewers with its humdinger October 28 GOP debate in which Texas Sen. Ted emoted “this is not a cage match!” and RNC chief Reince Priebus issued a “CNBCshould be ashamed” statement when the sometimes startling, but mercifully 2-hours-long-like-Donald-Trump-intended debate ended. The candidates staged a coup against the committee when it was over, saying they would handle negotiations themselves with debate-broadcasting networks going forward, but their No Gotcha Questions campaign appears to have collapsed under the weight of some egos.
Anyway, CNBC’s 14M is the number to beat for FBN.
“We are grateful that our distribution partners, like us at Fox Business Network, recognize the importance of providing the debate to as many subscribers as possible,” Tim Carry, EVP distribution FBN and FNC said in today’s announcement. “The debate falls at a pivotal time in the election cycle and through the help and support of these partners, many more of their customers will have access to it on November 10th.”
Presented by FBN in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal, the debates will air live from the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 6 PM ET (kids’ table) and 9 PM ET (main debate).