Fox Business vs CNBC: Will the InterWeb Settle Things?

The buzz continues about the Fox Business/CNBC smackdown set to begin on Monday, but the interesting thing is most American won’t even have a ringside seat. Why? Because Fox Business is likely not on their cable system, the same way it won’t be on mine here in San Diego, so you’ll end up reading about the new business network, not seeing it.

Here’s my theory then: The first of the two business networks to stream their content live, free, and in realtime over the interweb will have a huge advantage. CNBC streams content now, but it costs money, both for current and archived media. Fox hasn’t said much about its streaming plans, but were it to go live and free in realtime it would more than make up for its non-presence on many U.S. cable systems.

Could the interweb be the deciding factor in the Fox Business / CNBC tussle? If so, it would be a fascinating example of the interweb’s new power in media.

obDisclosure: In my spare time, I’m a CNBC analyst and appear intermittently on the channel.


  1. Timely post. I just moved offices (well, to a different room in my house with no cable port) this morning and was looking for a way to stream CNBC and no dice. I imagine the potential audience for streaming business news is in the hundreds of thousands, if not more. Most people don’t have TV in their workplace.

  2. I have just notified Comcast that if I can’t get Fox Business I’ll cancel and they responded with their 800 number and told me to call when I’m ready to cancel. You’re probably right about the interweb though I will go to direcTV if they carry it.
    CNBC programming is already rising to the challenge so even non-Fox viewers are benefiting. Business coverage on FNC will improve too…

  3. Tell ’em, Andi! I’ve tried the “threaten to cancel” tactic many times with cable and now satellite, but those perky, sunshiny phone reps don’t seem that fazed by my threats. And I never follow through, so I guess they win – although once, I did actually to get them to come out for free and move my dish higher up in order to avoid the obstruction of a tree that had grown large enough to block the transmission feed. We went from “I’m going to cancel since you want to charge me $150 to come out and move the dish, rather than coming out for free,” to “ok sir, now that you’re canceling, what can I do to ‘save’ the account?” To which I replied, “just come out and reposition the dish for free, like I’ve asked for the past 15 minutes.” And BOOM! She ‘saved’ the account right there and sent someone out, for free!
    And on a Fox Business note, I’ve talked to more people who are excited about Dave Ramsey (I think that’s his name) than about anything else related to Fox Business. Not sure who he is (a Cramer type, I’m guessing?), but the masses are apparently aware of him.

  4. I DID just now order direcTV, for another $50/mo. They install Sunday so I’ll get the opening day on Foxbiz.
    Time will tell if I actually cancel Comcast video, but I’m stuck with Comcast Broadband anyway.

  5. It is much larger than you think. A full 25% of investors and listings on U.S. exchanges are from overseas – that may not have access.
    A full 50% of U.S. business do not allow television at work. If there is breaking news, the best way to get it would be via interweb.
    This definitely beats going around the corner to the local bar.
    Cross Profit

  6. My direcTV installer just left, so now I can get Foxbiz and guess what–News Corp has a minority stake in direcTV. Interesting, Murdoch benefits from Comcast’s failure to provide Foxbiz in my area…

  7. Is there really that much viewer demand for three business channels? Between CNBC and Bloomberg and the wide world of the Net, anyone jonesing for a third biz channel needs to get a life.
    That said, I think CNBC may have made a programming blunder in cancelling “On The Money” and moving Larry Kudlow into the 7-8pm time slot. Close to half the country is still at work during that hour, and the other half is either stuck in traffic or dining in or out.
    And most of those dining in are watching either syndicated sitcom repeats or those moronic Hollywood gossip shows like ET and Insider.
    Fast Money at 5PM sounds great, but I would think Melissa Francis’ faster-paced, far hipper show would attract more viewers than Kudlow. Until I saw this I thought Kudlow might even move to Fox, where he’d be a better fit with their conservative slant.

  8. Fox Business’ website is now live – it’s awful, imho.

  9. I watch Bloomberg for free.