What being a Nielsen client means for FBN: ‘We’re having more discussions with more people’

By Chris Ariens Comment

As we reported yesterday, Fox Business Network is going to be publicly rated starting Monday. For the first time, advertising clients, competitors and, well, we will be able to see how the network is performing on a day-to-day basis. It’s taken 3 years and 5 months for FBN to make the leap to become a full service client. By contrast, Fox News Channel became a full service client six months after it went on the air, in April 1997, but the business channel is on an all digital network across the country, except in Manhattan. Bloomberg TV, which has been on the air for 17 years, is still not publicly rated.

TVNewser spoke with John McCann, VP of Ad Sales for Fox Business Network about what this all means.

TVNewser: Why did it take so long? FBN reached the 40 million household threshold a long time ago.

McCann: Well, the industry standard is 60 million. We’re at 57.3 right now, so we’re actually just shy of the industry standard. We have four times as many advertisers as we did at this time last year. And we have been discussing for quite some time when was the right time.

TVNewser: How do you think FBN’s programs will stack up ratings-wise to CNBC?

McCann: I think we have a formidable line-up. We now have Lou Dobbs and Lori Rothman. Of course Neil [Cavuto], and Stuart Varney, Liz Claman. We’re in a really good place.

TVNewser: FBN execs have long said that Nielsen’s “accuracy issues” were a big part of holding out on becoming a full service client. Do you still feel that is the case?

McCann: One of the things with an upscale network is that Nielsen has a challenge measuring upscale homes and that’s an issue across the audience, reaching upscale homes. [Nielsen] doesn’t measure vacation homes. These people have vacation home. Nielsen does not measure at work. These people work. That’s all part of being a business network. We know they’re watching while they work.

TVNewser: How does this better help you sell advertising?

McCann: It’s the industry standard. We’re having more discussions with more people. Overall we’re talking with clients that we haven’t before and as we approach the upfront people seem pleased that we are [a full service Nielsen client.]