×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox News Goes Over the Top With Streaming ‘Fox Nation’

Tomi Lahren, a rising presence on Fox News Channel, has ambitious plans — but Fox News viewers might not get to see any of them.

The conservative commentator will soon deliver twice-daily takes on national issues that move her. She is making visits to the U.S. border, the better to tell real-life stories on video of the U.S. officials who patrol it. And she wants to hold long-form interviews with newsmakers and celebrities who wouldn’t normally consider a sit-down with a Fox News personality — including comedien Kathy Griffin and activist Colin Kaepernick. “This is an opportunity for me to really sound off,” she says.

The reason core viewers could be left out: to get Lahren’s latest, they’ll have to subscribe to a digital offering — Fox Nation.

CNN and the news divisions of NBC, ABC and CBS have all dipped their toe into live-streaming, the better to reach consumers who increasingly go to their smartphone or click at their desktop for video entertainment and information. Fox Nation, a subscription video-on-demand service that launches Nov. 27 and carries a monthly fee of $5.99, seems like part of that parade — but Fox News executives don’t feel they’re late to the party.

“Frankly, I think what we are going to offer is different,” says John Finley, senior vice president of development and production, sitting in a new studio at Fox News’ New York headquarters that will serve as home to Fox Nation programs like “Dana Perino’s Book Club” and “Un-PC,” hosted by Britt McHenry and comedian Tyrus.

If you were to call the new service a “Netflix for conservatives,” Finley says he wouldn’t mind. “I’ve been comparing it to a mix between Netflix and Facebook Live,” he adds. “Netflix doesn’t have a live component.”

Fox Nation isn’t aimed at delivering the latest reports or showcasing a new Fox News interview with President Donald Trump. Instead, it’s a place for hours of opinion programming, documentaries, Fox News archives and even a few surprises (“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy has a cooking show on the service).  “We are limited on the news channel by 24 hours a day and seven days a week. There are only so many programs you can show,” Finley says. “We don’t have any of those constraints at Fox Nation.”

Fox Nation is a way to carve a new revenue stream for Fox News, which will stand as the biggest financial engine of a slimmed-down 21st Century Fox once the parent company completes a sale of the bulk of its assets to Walt Disney Co. in early 2019. Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network are expected to generate more than $1.9 billion in affiliate fees this year, according to data from media-research group Kagan, and nearly $1.08 billion in advertising. The trick will be to get Fox News superfans to subscribe to Fox Nation without tamping down their use of the flagship cable outlets. Executives see the new offering as something commuters can take in while on the train or stuck in traffic.

“I think what we are going to offer is different.”
John Finley, Fox News senior VP of development and production

Subscribers can’t gain access to live Fox News programs on the service (though they can listen to an audio stream of them after the broadcasts have aired), and Fox Nation’s live offerings won’t compete with the Fox News primetime schedule. The network’s most-watched hosts — Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson — will contribute new programming to Fox Nation, such as “Laura & Raymond,” featuring Ingraham and Raymond Arroyo.

Both Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairmen of 21st Century Fox, have been deeply involved in the project. The impetus for Fox Nation came out of general talks about devising broadband products for a number of Fox properties, including FX and Fox Broadcasting. “I have been meeting with them regularly about it. I’ve gone through probably at this point dozens of show ideas with both of them, and batted them back and forth,” says Finley. “We’ve killed some and created some.” He declined to mention specific shows either Murdoch suggested.

Some of the programming is less tied to news of the moment. Brian Kilmeade, for example, will host “What Made America Great,” a look at some of the controversies behind iconic American events. Former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman analyzes famous criminal cases in “The Fuhrman Diaries.” In recent months, Finley has had to keep tabs on as many as 40 different productions while the company created Fox Nation content.

It’s no secret younger people tend to gravitate toward broadband services. Indeed, 60% of preorders for Fox Nation that have come in during a promotion are via mobile, says Finley. But executives aren’t making age the sole factor in how to build the offering. “We are a big tent, and the flaps are open,” he says, adding, “I also hope people who aren’t conservative find something to watch.”

More Digital

  • Jingle Punks Jingle Player

    Jingle Punks at 10: How the Production Music Platform's Player Works

    Though its primary function is creative, Jingle Punks is built on a foundation of technology and administration. The patented Jingle Player that lets customers search for music using pop culture terms is both intuitive and efficient. Typing in “Reservoir Dogs” or “Starbucks” generates suggestions. Queries are monitored “so if there isn’t an exact match, we’ll suggest [...]

  • Jill Goldfarb - Jukin Media

    Jukin Hires TV Veteran Jill Goldfarb as VP of Linear Programming

    Jukin Media, which specializes in licensing user-generated viral videos, hired Jill Goldfarb as VP of linear programming. Goldfarb’s former tours of duty include serving as Discovery Channel’s VP of programming and as VP of program planning and scheduling at ABC Family/Fox Family Channel. Most recently, for the past five years she worked as an independent [...]

  • Imax Is Exiting the VR Space,

    Imax Is Shutting Down Its VR Business, Closing Remaining Three VR Centers in Q1

    Imax is making its exit from virtual reality (VR) official: The company notified shareholders with a SEC filing Thursday that it will close down its remaining three VR centers, and write off “certain VR content investments.” A company spokesperson confirmed the planned closures and shared the following statement with Variety: “With the launch of the [...]

  • Apple Music Connect Is Being Discontinued

    Apple Music Phases Out Connect Social Feed

    Apple Music has notified artists that it will be phasing out its Connect social feed. Artists won’t be able to post to Connect anymore effective immediately, and their existing posts will be removed by next May, according to an email sent to artists that was first published by 9to5Mac Thursday. “Today we’re streamlining music discovery [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Warns Creators They May See Subscriber Count Drops Amid Spam-Account Purge

    YouTube is enacting a broad purge of spam accounts over the next two days, and it’s warning creators they could see a big drop in subscribers as a result. According to YouTube, on Dec. 13-14, creators “may see a noticeable decrease” in subscriber counts. The Google-owned video service regularly works to verify the legitimacy of [...]

  • Ninja to Call 'Thursday Night Football'

    Ninja to Call NFL 'Thursday Night Football' Game on Twitch Free Live-Stream

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is Twitch’s most popular live-streaming gamer. Now he’s taking his play-by-play skills to the NFL — although it remains to be seen how many of his millions of followers are actually interested in his commentary on gridiron action. This season, Amazon-owned Twitch has provided free live-streaming feeds of the NFL’s “Thursday Night [...]

  • Amazon Starts Selling Chromecast Again, YouTube

    Amazon Starts Selling Google’s Chromecast Again

    Amazon is once again selling Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, three years after yanking the product from its website. The e-commerce giant began listing the third-generation model of Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, as well as the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra, on its website this week. The move could be a first step toward a more comprehensive business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content