OLD Media Moves

CNBC pushes hard overseas to prepare for Fox

October 1, 2006

The International Herald-Tribune ran an article on Sunday about CNBC’s expansion into new foreign markets to boost its name recognition as it awaits the launch of new rival Fox Business News.

Reporter Eric Pfanner wrote, “CNBC has outlasted other deep-pocketed competitors. Time Warner shut down CNNfn, a business spinoff of the CNN news channel, in 2004. CNBC also faces continuing competition from Bloomberg Television in a number of markets. (Bloomberg has an editorial partnership with the International Herald Tribune.)

CNBC “But CNBC executives acknowledge that News Corp. could heat things up in the market for television financial news, given the success of Fox.

“‘If they come into the market, we welcome them,’ said Mick Buckley, the president of CNBC Europe who is based in London. ‘It will help grow the sector.’

“Because CNBC Europe was started in 1998, he added, the channel has a healthy head start, should Fox decide to take its business channel to audiences outside the United States.

“Buckley said CNBC was stepping up efforts to make itself more attractive to European advertisers, offering them opportunities to sponsor shows or to develop ‘branded content,’ for instance. In the first half of this year, advertising revenue in Europe rose 63 percent from a year earlier, he said, declining to provide a total.

“The gains could help CNBC stem financial losses overseas, after it took full control of its international operations last year by ending a joint venture with Dow Jones. Selling its 50 percent stake, Dow Jones said, allowed it to wipe out $15 million in annual losses, suggesting that the combined loss for CNBC internationally was around $30 million a year.

“In the United States, on the other hand, CNBC is highly profitable; analysts estimate it has earned around $250 million a year, and may be on track to make more than that this year. CNBC executives declined to comment on those estimates.”

Read more here.

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