Fox News to launch an over-the-top streaming service, Fox Nation
Fox News is going over-the-top. The Fox News Channel officially announced today the upcoming launch of an over-the-top streaming service called Fox Nation that will include live exclusive daily programming as well as long-form content available only to subscribers. Fox Nation also will include access to exclusive events and more than 20 years of Fox News Channel programming, the company says.
News of the upcoming service, set to launch in Q4 this year, was first reported by The New York Times, which noted that the streaming service’s content won’t overlap with what’s aired on the broadcast channel. Instead, it will include mostly new content, produced daily, from new anchors and commentators.
One unique aspect to the service is that it will also encourage more interactivity with viewers through live events, like question-and-answer forums, says The NYT.
Details about the service’s exact launch date or pricing are not yet available, as that’s still being worked out.
However, John Finley, senior vice president of Development and Production at Fox News, described the service as one designed for the Fox News “superfan,” in his statement about the new product.
“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,” reads Finley’s 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.”
This statement hints that the new service isn’t necessarily designed for cord cutters, despite its over-the-top nature. Instead it’s more like supplemental content for those who can’t get enough Fox News from cable TV.
To what extent this product makes sense in a world that’s rapidly ditching pay TV is unclear, given that a plethora of live TV services on the market today already offer streaming, over-the-top access to Fox News itself, including YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, DirecTV Now and others.
And because Fox News is a 24/7 cable news channel, that means Fox Nation will basically be competing against its own parent company’s flagship offering. If anything, Fox Nation will siphon off viewers who want somehow even less hard news content than they were getting from Fox News itself, and are more interested in opinions.
In fact, the company even refers to Fox Nation as an “over-the-top opinion platform” in its announcement.
The upcoming launch of Fox Nation follows Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film and TV divisions, which excluded Fox News, Fox Broadcasting and Fox Sports; it is one of the first major new products to emerge from the now leaner 21st Century Fox.
Fox Nation is not the only news channel to experiment with new technology for digital apps, however. CNN acquired YouTuber Casey Neistat’s Beme, but that didn’t quite pan out and Neistat has since left the company. But CNN is continuing to develop some of the apps under the Beme umbrella, including a yet-to-launch live news app called Wire.
Meanwhile, the live-streamed business news network Cheddar is attracting a younger audience that doesn’t necessarily watch — or even own a TV.
Fox Nation will operate from the network’s New York headquarters, and will begin hiring in Q2.