Murdoch Eyes New Prey: CNBC

True investors can never get enough of business information. Whether online, print, or broadcast, individuals who buy equities always want to snag that latest bit of data on blue chips, such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , as well as not-so-blue chips, such as Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO  ) . And when it comes to television, General Electric's (NYSE: GE  ) CNBC channel is pretty much the dominant brand when it comes to distribution of financial stories.

That could change in the near future.

Rupert Murdoch was quoted in several media outlets as being interested in offering up some competition to CNBC, perhaps by next summer. Although details weren't available, one would have to assume it's a decent bet that it would be christened with the Fox (NYSE: FOX  ) moniker. The Fox News Channel has been on the hunt for the viewers of Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) CNN, and it has had a profound impact on Ted Turner's genius creation, showing that top dogs should always be cautious of the younger pups born in the litter down the lane. I can only imagine an equally aggressive campaign against CNBC; in fact, Mr. Murdoch recently referred to CNBC as "disappointing."

I do have to say that I enjoy the Saturday morning financial shows on Fox News. There's a certain underlying "edge" (yes, I agree, that's one of the most overused words in the world) to them that I find appealing. If Fox could program an entire channel in a similar fashion, CNBC would have some stiff competition on its hands.

The risk of a channel dedicated to markets is that there is precious little control one can exert over its success during nasty bear markets. Down cycles can sap the collective interest of individual investors quickly, dragging the ratings down at the same pace. Yet I see a grand opportunity here. I hope, and can certainly imagine, that people will become more and more adept at investing as time goes on.

I honestly believe in the stock market's ability to better people's lives (heck, I wouldn't be here on the Fool writing articles if I didn't), and I think that, as the timeline progresses and the citizens of this country realize that Social Security just isn't the touchstone it once was, the audience for such cable assets will expand, giving media conglomerates pause to consider such programming opportunities. The counterargument to my thesis is that Time Warner couldn't make a go of it with its own financial channel (which has recently been aborted); good point, but I think Murdoch might have a better presentation up his sleeve.

Who knows, maybe a vast majority of our youth will someday flock to an MTV-branded financial channel. What a bull market that would imply, huh?

More news on Fox:

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of General Electric. He also wonders why MTV has never tried a show dedicated to the stock market (at least to his knowledge).


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