One more nugget from News Corp.’s earnings call: Asked by Jessica Reif Cohen where the Fox Business Network is relative to expectations and about expected losses, Murdoch replied: “We can talk pretty honestly about it. … It will probably cost us best part of $60 million to $70 million this year. We are fighting very hard for greater distribution. We are achieving it slowly. And when we get over 50 million subscribers, we will turn on a lot more heat, we will turn on better programs and we think we will be much more aggressive in getting advertising. But I think that’s another year to two years away.”
An FBN spokeswoman says the network is available in more than 40 million homes now. That’s the only metric the network offers. It’s not a full client of Nielsen; in the first year, the number of households usually has been too low to measure regularly. One recent publicized exception: BusinessWeek reported that more than 100,000 people watched FBC’s two prime-time shows last month on the day the Dow fell 778 points. But BW also estimated that roughly 32,000 or so were tuning in daily during the heavy crisis days, while more mature and fully distributed CNBC drew 541,000.
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