A scary new article by the Associated Press shows that advertising revenue has not provided enough income for the free networks to support all of their programming efforts. And thanks to the rise of cable and the web, some companies are considering new business models that are cutting the "free" out of "free TV."
Given the way things are going, do you think there could come a time when free TV is a thing of the past like top 40 AM radio, Olestra chips and an ozone layer?
If you're like me, the first thing that you do after you wipe those crusty things out of your eyes is turn on CNBC, Fox Business Network or Bloomberg to see how much more the economy is in a tailspin. Sometimes you watch to see how far oil has fallen. Other times you watch just to see if another bank or investment firm failed. Still, other times you watch to shake your fist and scream in anger to no one in particular.
Should any of these reasons be the case, you are not alone. Fact of the matter is you are part of an growing audience for these business channels. Over the last few weeks networks like CNBC and FBN have been racking up the viewers, with many of them jumping on the disaster bandwagon in the last half of September. For instance, when the Dow Jones Average plunged 778 points on September 29th, CNBC's average total viewership reached an all-time high of 726,000. Fox Business Network, which has only been around for about a year and isn't on nearly as many cable systems, garnered an average of 91,000 viewers on that same day.
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