OLD Media Moves

Thomson Reuters TV won't challenge CNBC

July 25, 2008

Michael Learmonth of Silicon Alley Insider writes Friday that the planned television operation of Thomson Reuters is unlikely to rival the other business news cable networks like CNBC.

CNBCLearmonth writes, “Here’s why: NBC U’s (GE) CNBC achieved full distribution — 95 million odd cable and satellite homes — in the early 90s in the go-go era of new cable channels. Now analog capacity on those systems is full, and the only way to get carriage for a new channel is if you have the leverage of, say, News Corp. (NWS).

“And even Rupert Murdoch’s muscle has only been able to do so much for the newly launched Fox Business Network last year: It’s been a struggle just to get the 32 million subscribers it does have — one reason that early ratings have been miniscule. Murdoch’s not the only billionaire who has struggled to break a new business channel: Mayor Mike’s Bloomberg TV, which has been soldiering on since 1994, has 45 million subscribers.

“That said, Thomson Reuters could launch a linear channel on the Web, with possible carriage on digital systems, as well as AT&T’s U-verse or Verizon’s FiOS. The model here is ABC’s World News Now, which is produced by a tiny staff in New York and carried on digital tiers of some cable systems, as well as the Web. Or, like Bloomberg TV, Thomson Reuters could launch it as a service to its professional subscribers.”

Read more here.

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