WNBC-TV’s All-News Channel Could Bomb
May 9, 2008 10:00 AM
When I first heard that the NBC Universal owned-and-operated station WNBC-TV in New York was launching a 24-hour local news channel this fall, I thought it was a great idea.
Now I’m having second thoughts. For starters, the new cable channel might maim the local broadcast news, which is already hurting big time.
And let’s get real. WNBC is more than a decade late in getting into the hyper-news game.
For years Time Warner Cable has won big audiences for its NY1 24-hour local news service. It’s an excellent service, especially for straphangers who want to learn which subways are down.
In outlying suburban communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Cablevision Systems has pretty much cornered the local news arena with its popular News 12 channel. Actually it has three local channels devoted to weather, traffic and news. It works just fine.
Here is one upside: Viewers in other areas of New Jersey that have Comcast Cable as their provider are about the only viewers who will benefit, because the nation’s largest MSO doesn’t provide a hyper-local news service for that market.
And here’s another sliver of hope. Maybe the NBC all-news channel will get some ratings with viewers who have satellite TV service, or Verizon’s FiOS.
But that’s about the extent of the upswing I see for this new offering from NBCU.
Am I missing something here?