Lately, it has been far from “business as usual” for Fox Business Network.
The network, which launched in 2007 and became Nielsen-rated in 2010, has seen a steady increase in viewership since the start of the presidential primaries. In 2015, FBN experienced some of the strongest year-over-year prime time ratings growth of any cable network. A significant factor can be attributed to political coverage, particularly the first presentation of a GOP presidential debate in network history. The November 10, 2015 debate represents the network’s most-watched telecast in its history. It drew almost 13.5 million total viewers. That figure, while down from previous GOP debates on Fox News, CNN, and rival CNBC, would end up being stronger than Democratic debates which aired on broadcast nets CBS and ABC later in the calendar year.
The network’s second GOP debate aired on January 14 and brought in 11.1 million total viewers. Fox Business would go on to average over 350,000 total prime time viewers in January 2016, a +500% improvement from the previous month, and a +1,000% improvement from the comparable month in 2015.
The prime time presidential debates have served as a boon to the network, but the day-to-day focus remains on business and viewers who consume content during daytime hours.
Additionally, the network made some lineup changes in June 2015 and the moves appear to have worked, at least from a ratings standpoint.
The network is averaging 134,000 total viewers during Business Day (9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) this quarter to-date, which is +111% of what it drew during Q1 of last year. The quarter-over-quarter discrepancy is even stronger when it comes to adults 25-54: +130%.
And on Tuesday, with the terror attacks in Brussels and the lead-up to another night of primary politics, FBN had another first: it topped CNBC in both total viewers (by just .5 percent) and in the demo (by +13 percent). That’s the first time that’s happened since the network launched in 2007.
“If you show you care, viewers will care,” FBN anchor and executive Neil Cavuto tells TVNewser. “We care, a lot, and I think that’s contagious and proves my point that when it comes to this incredible team, if you build it, they will come. If you keep building, they will stay.”