STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Why Fox News is launching the 'Fox Nation' streaming service

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. ...

Posted: Nov 27, 2018 2:01 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 2:01 PM

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Birth of Fox Nation

21st Century Fox

Arts and entertainment

Broadcasting industry

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Cable and television industry

Companies

Donald Trump

Fox News

Internet and WWW

Internet broadcasting

Media industry

Political Figures - US

Streaming media

Technology

Television programming

21st Century Fox is launching a new streaming service, Fox Nation, full of conservative politics and entertainment programming, on Tuesday morning.

This is a big test of the Fox News audience and a big extension of the Fox brand. The Murdochs are trying to convince the biggest fans of Fox News, who already pay for cable every month, to pay more for extra programming on the internet.

THE RISK: The streaming service could have technical snafus, could have a hard time attracting subscribers, or could flop for other reasons. It could cannibalize Fox's TV audience and undermine the core business.

THE REWARD: The streaming service could hand Fox a huge new revenue stream and a direct relationship with fans. It could give Fox more control over its future and more leverage in dealings with cable companies. It could be the jumping off point for more Fox-branded products, now that fans have signed up with their credit cards.

What Fox Nation is all about

-- Fox has been encouraging sign-ups for almost a month, using its prime time TV shows and other powerful megaphones.

-- It is not a "news" channel per se. It is all about opinion and entertainment. The programming is resolutely right-wing and pro-Trump.

-- It looks like a slimmed-down version of Netflix or Hulu, with shelves full of on-demand shows. There will be up to 30 hours of fresh programming a week, plus archives of Fox's radio shows.

-- There isn't a daily schedule because there isn't a TV-style linear feed. But there will be some live shows, including "Liberty Files with Judge Napolitano," "UN-PC" with co-hosts Britt McHenry and Tyrus, and "Reality Check with David Webb."

-- There will be push notifications so that users can be alerted when the live shows begin.

-- The live shows will be during the day, so they don't conflict with "Fox & Friends" or prime time.

-- It will be up and running at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

A purer form of the drug

"When Fox News isn't Fox News-y enough for you." That's not the slogan for Fox Nation, but perhaps it could be. As Michael Grynbaum put it in this New York Times story, "Fox Nation may be the id of Fox News." There will be documentaries about Robert Bork and Benghazi. Twice a day segments by Tomi Lahren. Cameos from Sean Hannity and others. Fox says the service is for "superfans" -- a/k/a the viewers most committed to the cause.

I understand the business rationale, but I wonder how the people in charge -- including, or perhaps especially, the Murdochs -- justify actually going through with that business rationale. Throwing fuel on a fire might make good business sense for the Murdochs right now; that doesn't mean they should do it.

I worry that this streaming service is yet another step into a tribalized, fragmented society. The filter bubble is feeling more and more like a filter prison...

The business bet

Fox Nation is not HBO Now or CBS All Access. It is not a new way to watch Fox News -- it is a supplement. Some of Fox's existing talk shows will be repurposed on the platform, yes, but only as audio replays. So this is all about getting the MAGAsphere to pay $5.99 a month for shows without threatening the cable companies.

How many have paid? Fox "is not divulging," Grynbaum reports, but the company is said to be "pleased by the initial response."

Stephen Battaglio of the Los Angeles Times says Fox "won't disclose its investment in Fox Nation." But keep in mind, virtually all of the hosts are already on the network's payroll, so the costs are mostly in production and marketing. John Finley is the executive in charge of the startup... Per Battaglio, he "said the service could be financially successful without reaching 1 million subscribers."

"Diamond & Silk" are on board

Oliver Darcy emails: Fox News announced Monday that pro-Trump social media personalities "Diamond & Silk" have agreed to make a weekly video for Fox Nation. It will be "five minutes of commentary, focused on events of the day and casual discourse."

Fox has a long history of allowing "Diamond & Silk" to appear on its programs and use its airwaves to mislead people (see here). This announcement only made the pact official.

Read more of Monday's "Reliable Sources" newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

The bottom line

-- Fox Nation makes sense for several reasons. It creates more shelf space for contributors who might be agitating for a show of their own. Fox execs can use Fox Nation to groom talent and try out future shows for the TV network...

-- The streaming service is not ad-supported, so execs don't have to worry about ad boycott efforts...

-- Nor do they have to worry about ratings... Nielsen won't be measuring anything... Viewership tends to be very low for these kinds of startups, but as long as Fox's superfans keep renewing their subscriptions, that's OK...

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86722

Reported Deaths: 1994
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25264915
Ramsey10267314
Dakota6942124
Anoka5531131
Stearns362923
Washington345955
Scott232532
Olmsted223726
Nobles191416
Blue Earth15406
Wright14777
Carver13037
Rice12798
Mower12534
St. Louis123329
Clay119940
Sherburne105013
Kandiyohi9082
Winona72718
Lyon6244
Steele5062
Freeborn4903
Nicollet48716
Watonwan4844
Benton4793
Todd4722
Le Sueur4403
McLeod4332
Chisago4151
Waseca4118
Crow Wing40218
Otter Tail3674
Beltrami3624
Goodhue3179
Martin2809
Polk2574
Itasca25513
Becker2352
Carlton2261
Isanti2210
Douglas2191
Cottonwood2130
Pipestone2059
Pine1980
Morrison1841
Chippewa1821
Dodge1820
Sibley1663
Wabasha1640
Brown1582
Unassigned15752
Meeker1552
Murray1492
Yellow Medicine1421
Rock1390
Mille Lacs1333
Faribault1290
Cass1203
Jackson1201
Renville1176
Pennington1071
Houston1050
Roseau1050
Swift991
Fillmore980
Koochiching983
Kanabec958
Lincoln930
Redwood910
Stevens911
Pope810
Aitkin691
Hubbard650
Big Stone640
Wadena610
Grant574
Wilkin553
Norman510
Lake480
Marshall481
Mahnomen441
Red Lake370
Lac qui Parle360
Traverse290
Clearwater240
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson130
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76924

Reported Deaths: 1241
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk14988255
Johnson490727
Woodbury475459
Black Hawk425184
Linn3640102
Story321417
Dallas263238
Scott261427
Dubuque251840
Buena Vista191812
Pottawattamie189437
Marshall175234
Sioux12243
Wapello122057
Webster117914
Muscatine105152
Clinton102418
Cerro Gordo97721
Plymouth97520
Crawford9444
Warren9186
Jasper72032
Des Moines7137
Marion6874
Tama67830
Carroll6085
Lee5727
Wright5491
Henry5104
Dickinson4666
Bremer4497
Boone4346
Washington41411
Louisa41314
Franklin33017
Hamilton3123
Mahaska30919
Delaware3053
Jackson2803
Floyd2793
Winneshiek2745
Clay2663
Hardin2661
Benton2611
Clarke2533
Butler2512
Winnebago24711
Emmet24210
Shelby2381
Allamakee2355
Jones2313
Poweshiek2308
Clayton2243
Lyon2233
Buchanan2181
Cedar2101
Guthrie2095
Chickasaw1970
Kossuth1950
Grundy1932
Madison1922
Howard1764
Sac1760
Fayette1751
Iowa1741
Cherokee1732
Mitchell1720
Hancock1702
Humboldt1682
Harrison1642
Calhoun1612
Mills1541
Pocahontas1492
Palo Alto1480
Monroe1409
Page1400
Jefferson1291
Lucas1296
Cass1262
Monona1251
Taylor1171
Appanoose1163
Osceola1130
Union1123
Davis1104
Van Buren1081
Worth990
Keokuk841
Montgomery845
Greene790
Ida770
Wayne762
Fremont730
Adair591
Decatur580
Audubon501
Ringgold402
Adams270
Unassigned160
Rochester
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 61°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 63°
Austin
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 63°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 64°
Cooler to wrap up the work week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events