Fox News Doesn't Just Want to Be For the Olds Anymore

Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew
Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

As Fox News’ primary viewership continues to kick the bucket, rapturously transported to their makers by the sonorous tones of Lauren Ingraham and bigotry, the company is clearly looking for a play that could make it relevant to a younger breed of red hats. Enter Fox Nation, a new streaming service that will ostensibly target Fox News “superfans” when it comes out later this year.


Per the press release:

Fox Nation will take a deep dive into the big issues of the day with live exclusive daily streaming content and long-form programming available only to subscribers. Fox Nation will also include access to exclusive events and 20 plus years of archival FNC programming not available anywhere else. Interaction with all of FNC’s popular opinion hosts and personalities will also be a mainstay of the new platform.

The news comes the same day Twitch, an online-only streaming service, announced that it had more viewers, at any given time, than CNN and MSNBC. In fact, Twitch’s average viewership, as determined by Macquarie Capital, of 962,000 viewers puts it “squarely among the most-watched US cable channels,” said Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter in a recent note seen by Business Insider. Fox News, meanwhile, has approximately 1.5 million viewers at any given time, Business Insider notes. That’s on par with ESPN, which recently announced its own plan to develop a streaming service. Both Fox News and ESPN are developing these services because cable subscriptions continue to fall as streaming subscriptions rise.

However, Fox News faces a problem unique to it and other cable news channels.

The average cable network news viewer is, according the the Atlantic, 60 years old. As for Fox News itself? More than half of its viewers are 68 years old or older. And while life without death is a nice idea, these viewers are, for now, as mortal as the rest of us schlubs. This means Fox News’ primary audience is dying off.

The television equivalent of Gary Oldman in Dracula, Fox News now needs the young to survive. So a streaming service geared towards the conservative youths makes a lot of sense!

However, Fox News has the audacity to claim that the real consumers of Fox News won’t be kids still clinging to the Pepe meme, but “superfans.” John Finley, Fox News senior vice president, tells the New York Times that Fox Nation will be for “the folks who watch Fox News every night for hours at a time, the dedicated audience that really wants more of what we have to offer.”


Yet if over half of Fox News viewers are over 68 years old, that means the cord-cutters it could be wooing are elderly as well—which won’t solve Fox News’ problem. It’s not the decline of cable that Fox News needs to address. It’s the age of its viewers.

[Fox News, New York Times]


Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.


Siete Ocho

On a note unrelated to the story but related to the header image: when do we think Shep Smith is going to have had enough over there?