Fox News Channel is planning to launch a new subscription-based streaming service called Fox Nation that would offer commentary-and-opinion programming to “superfans” of the network even when popular primetime hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are not on the air.
The company. part of 21st Century Fox, said it expected to launch the service in the fourth quarter with a price to be announced at a later date. The new service is expected to feature live exclusive daily streaming content and long-form programming available only to subscribers. Fox Nation will also give subscribers access to exclusive events and more than 20 years of Fox News Channel programming. Being able to interact Iwith hosts and personalities is expected to be a main feature of the new product
Executives did not outline specific hosts who would appear via the new service.
In launching the new service, Fox News is joining the parade of traditional media companies seeking to offer new subscription-based options to catch some of the consumer herd migrating to on-demand streaming video. Walt Disney has outlined the launch of “ESPN Plus,” an over-the-top service that is expected to debut in coming weeks. CBS Corp. plans to launch a sports service, “CBS Sports HQ,” later this month, and another service based on its “Entertainment Tonight” program, later this year.
Fox News subscribers are known to be among TV’s most loyal. Indeed, the 21st Century Fox-owned outlet was projected to generate $1.67 billion in revenue from programming fees paid by cable and satellite distributors in 2016 by market-research firm SNL Kagan said, compared with $952.8 million in net advertising revenue. “With our traditional cable viewership at an all-time high, we are proud to announce a new digital offering geared entirely toward the Fox News superfans, who represent the most loyal audience in cable, if not all of television,” said John Finley, the network’s senior vice president of development and production, in a statement.”This initiative will capitalize on providing that viewer, who is among the most affluent and well educated in cable, with a highly specialized content experience on a platform they can watch anytime, anywhere.”
The maneuver also shows Fox News executives looking to expand their product offerings as their business unit becomes even more important to the fortunes of its parent company. Fox has agreed to sell the bulk of its assets to Walt Disney Co., with Fox News, Fox Broadcasting and Fox Sports remaining behind under the aegis of the company’s controlling shareholders, the Murdoch family, The new 21st Century Fox is under some pressure to suggest future plans for its various assets and the new growth it might wring out of them.
Fox News said the service will be housed at the network’s New York headquarters, with hiring for the new venture slated to ramp up in the second quarter of this year.