Watching Glenn Beck’s show after he leaves FOX News at the end of the month will cost you…but not as much as it costs you to read the New York Times online.
Beck’s show will become a two hour nightly event airing live from 5-7pm beginning on 9/12.
Also airing on the newly launched Internet channel will be a simulcast of Beck’s three hour radio show and “The 4th Hour” starring his sidekicks Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere. Over the summer the channel will feature a behind-the-scenes reality show about the making of GBTV.
And that’s apparently just the beginning.
“If you’re a fan of Jon Stewart, you’re going to find something on GBTV that you’re going to enjoy,” Beck tells the NYT, “If you’re a fan of ‘24,’ you’re going to find something on GBTV that you’re going to enjoy.”
Satire and guns! If Beck’s remotely as successful as either of those shows then let’s just say Roger Ailes‘ concerns Beck was becoming the competition were not unwarranted.
Meanwhile, here are the two things Beck and company are banking on. First: That the 80,000 subscribers who have already signed up for Glenn Beck’s subscription service Extreme, and will automatically get access to GBTV, will provide a solid base.
Second: That viewers are already in the process of transitioning all their television viewing online and they are just one step ahead of the inevitable. Whether they are one step too soon will be the challenge.
“I think we might be a little early..But I’d rather be ahead of the pack than part of it.” says Beck.
Regardless, Beck and team have laid out some lofty goals and it obviously remains to be seen whether Beck will be able to attract the sort of numbers online that he was able to on FOX. So how many subscribers will Beck need to make this work.
He already has 80,000 Extreme subscribers. To make up the reported $2 million dollars he is losing from his FOX contract he’d need to sign up 40,000 more subscibers at the $4.95 level (which is the lowest subscriber level). That’s a tall-ish order depending on Mercury’s timeline — the NYT was hoping to get 100,000 in its first year. Of course, Beck is not the NYT — you probably won’t be able to find him brand of media elsewhere the same way you can the news.
But to put it in context, one fortieth of Beck’s total nightly viewers — in the last month or so he averaged between 1,200,000 and 1,600,000 viewers on any given night — will have to sign up to make up the loss of his FOX contract. That’s not all that much, though considering the amount of people willing to shell out money on books based on his recommendation perhaps not entirely unrealistic.
One imagines whether or not he is able to pull this off will be of great interest to every TV exec scrambling to figure out how to remain profitable in a world where networks matter less than embeddable video codes.
Update: Beck is currently on GBTV (and presumably the radio) telling listeners he argued to get the price down to $5/month despite the fact it would require a ridiculous amount of subscribers to make it work.
He’s also asking listeners to consider whether he has provided $5 worth of information this past month and (choking up) gives listeners “his word” they will be getting their money’s worth.
Says Beck: “I have global plans.”