FBN Wins Back-to-Back Weeks in Business Day Ratings

By Chris Ariens Comment

Fox Business Network has won its second full week in a row in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo over its main competitor, CNBC during business day programming. That’s a first for the nearly 10-year-old network.

FBN averaged 191,000 total viewers during Business Day vs. CNBC’s 155,000. In the demo, FBN averaged 29,000 to CNBC’s 25,000.

BuzzFeed takes a deep dive at the rise in ratings and talks with several FBN stars including Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo and Charlie Gasparino–all alums of CNBC. He also talked to business news viewers, like billionaire Mark Cuban.

“I think CNBC has better interviews and more in depth business knowledge that creates more usable information for viewers,” said Cuban. “I think Neil and Maria are great and of course knowledgeable, but the network as a whole tends to still be too political. Which is why they probably are winning.”

Former FBN staffer Andrew Kirell argues that’s exactly why they’re winning. In an opinion piece in the Daily Beast, Kirell writes, “the network ditched straight-up business news for a model similar to Fox News: politics (and, yes, business) with a distinctly right-wing voice.”

“I think the CNBC debate helped us a lot,” said Gasparino for the BuzzFeed story. “The fact that it was so bad, and ours was so good. We did the blocking and tackling that they didn’t do.”

Bragging rights aside, household ratings measured by Nielsen matter little to advertisers that need to reach rich people who watch financial TV. Two years ago, CNBC stopped relying on Nielsen figures as the basis for advertising transactions for daytime programming, arguing that the measurement company failed to capture both the size and wealth of its “out-of-home” viewership in places like offices and gyms.

“If you don’t like the score of the game, sometimes you try to change the referee,” said FBN VP Gary Schreier , taking a swipe at CNBC where he worked before joining FBN ahead of launch in 2007. He returned to CNBC in 2012 and, since 2015, has been back at FBN. “We all have out-of-home viewership. I know that’s not getting rated, but I’m glad we’re on.”

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