As news networks start to prepare for coverage of the 2014 mid-term elections, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network are launching mobile-viewing functions that allow viewers to watch the networks on mobile tablets and phones, as well as desktops.
The two platforms, dubbed FoxNewsGo and FoxBusiness, launch Monday.
The tools will be basic for now, allowing people who can authenticate a subscription to a video provider such as a cable or satellite system to see what is airing on either of the 21st Century Fox-owned networks at the time they connect. Video-on-demand and second-screen functionality are likely to come in time, said Tim Carry, executive vice president of distribution for the networks, in an interview.
“We just wanted to get a product on portable devices and desktops that really created an experience much like the linear service,” Carry said.
A beta version of the FoxNewsGo mobile platform went live a year ago, which brought more than a million impressions to the Fox News website, according to statistics released by the network. Average viewership was 45 minutes, Carry said, which mimics what executives see for traditional linear-viewing patterns.
Fox News expects the new mobile tools to be available to approximately 70 million of its subscribers, Carry said. About 220 partners have signed on to offer the service, including major cable carriers lie Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV. “The only significant distributor we haven’t fully come to terms with and hope to see us on is Dish,” Carry said.
Executives also hope the mobile platform will drive additional advertising revenue, as the networks can us the emerging practice called “dynamic ad insertion or the placement of unique commercials in the live stream that would not necessarily appear at the same time on the cable networks.