Has the Fox News Ego Become Too Big?

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Cable News, Journalism, Objective Journalism

Fox News Channel has mastered the art of cable news over the past decade. They turned the battle into a partisan centered grudge match with MSNBC and have run away with the ratings year after year. CNN can barely compete with its objective based approach. ESPN mastered the sports news market and has created a network that most sports loving Americans can’t live without. Has Fox News entered the realm of ESPN in which cable subscribers need the channel to be satisfied in their television service? According to the article by Alex Weprin for TVNewser, News Corp. COO Chase Carey thinks so.

Fox News is beginning a new round of carriage negotiations with several cable operators and is trying to increase the amount of money they are getting per subscriber by more than twice as much as they are currently getting. The article states they are receiving $0.58 per subcriber per month and they’re believed to be looking for $1.25 per subscriber per month. Carey said that FNC was “as important a channel as exists.” He also said that FNC was up to par with ESPN in importance of channels. “ESPN is currently the most valuable cable network in the U.S., pulling in over $4 per subscriber per month in fees,” according to the article.

Fox News saying they are on the level of ESPN is like saying they are to news what HBO is to cable movie channels or PBS to public broadcasting. ESPN dominates sports television to a degree that Fox News couldn’t compare to. FNC does have a large following of viewers, yet that following isn’t large enough to compare to the tens of millions of sports fans than rely on comprehensive sports coverage spanning all professional and collegiate teams. Without ESPN, television viewers would have to resort to local sports networks that offer limited coverage.

If FoxNews was taken off television, there would be a lot of angry viewers, but people would still have various ways to get their news intake. The channel doesn’t cover a wider array of news than other networks. People wouldn’t miss anything without the network. All FoxNews offers is a different approach to presenting the news. Nothing extra is gained other than a partisan angle that many conservative republicans want to watch.

For the purpose of transparency, I think that viewers would be better off without the largest propaganda pushing network in the United States. The most popular programs are biased talking heads that are forcing an agenda. The actual news shows aren’t much different from the other 24-hour news networks. Mr. Carey is simply trying to boost his company’s image with the hope of driving the price up for cable operators. FoxNews is big, but not that big.

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