Nearly four years since it launched, Fox Business Network is finally no longer bleeding cash. On his quarterly earnings call yesterday, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch said that FBN was “cash break even.”
Of course, not losing money and making money are not the same thing. FBN still has significant distribution issues–it is only available in just over half of the homes that CNBC is available in, and it earns a lower sub fee. In addition, while the channel saw significant ratings bumps during the financial turmoil over the last few weeks, CNBC saw them too.
In other words, FBN is making progress, but it is slow going, and despite some slip-ups in coverage over the past few weeks (having taped programming during market turmoil), CNBC still has a big advantage.
Update: Benzinga notes that Lou Dobbs actually beat Larry Kudlow on CNBC in the demo, and came close in total viewers last Thursday. of course, a single day means very little in cable news, what matters is where shows end up averaging.
Also on the ratings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey said that Fox News still has roughly half of its subscription universe coming up for renewal in the next year, and that “both Fox and Fox News will take subscription fees to a whole new level.”