Fox Business Network, the finance oriented cable property owned by News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), (NASDQ:NWS) has made great strides in popularity and content since it began operation in October 2007. The latest viewing figures show the cable channel may be outpacing its rivals.
The incumbent in the sector is CNBC, a property owned by NBC Universal, 51% of which is owned by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) with the remaining 49% under the control of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). Since the inception of Fox Business competition between the two has been a defining feature of programming.
The latest ratings figures seem to suggest that Fox Business is beginning to win that particular battle. In the prime time slot, between 7pm and 8pm that features Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business and The Kudlow Report on CNBC, Dobbs has been forging out a strong lead.
In the most recent data, the week beginning on June 25, Dobbs beat out Kudlow in the key 25-54 demographic with a viewership of 37000, versus Kudlow’s 33000. It is fourth time this year that Dobbs has managed that feat. The well known pundit has only been on the air at Fox Business since March of last year.
In February, between the 2nd and the 8th, Dobbs put beat Kudlow by 26%. Between March 5th and 11th, and March 19th and 25th, Dobbs beat Kudlow out by 18% and 14% respectively. The figures are encouraging for Fox Business.
The announcement that Dobbs was joining the network in 2010 was a big win for Fox. The veteran had been a well known face at CNN for 30 years before leaving in 2009. His presence has helped solidify the channel’s reputation, and, as the figures show, managed to bring in a large audience.
Fox Business has not had the success of its parent, the Fox News Channel. That network needed only five years to unseat the reigning 24 hour news channel CNN. Fox Business will turn five this October. It has not yet overtaken CNBC but it does appear to be gaining.
There remains a long road ahead for Fox Business, but the encouragement coming from victories like those of Lou Dobbs will help accelerate the network’s growth and its value in the eyes of consumers and advertisers. The property may not have shot out into the limelight like Fox News, but it has carved out a respectable audience for itself and is looking to continue growth.
CNBC is not dead yet, but Fox Business is doing everything it can to precipitate the network’s downfall.