As GBTV Launches, Former Fox News Host Glenn Beck Claims Online TV Has Killed The Networks

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Glenn BeckGBTV is now on the air, or on the Web, at least, with the first new Glenn Beck Program having streamed online. But will Glenn Beck actually make money from an Internet-only, subscription-based television network? Most analysts seem to think so, amazingly.


In June Glenn Beck launched GBTV, an online television channel only available to subscribers (paying between $4.95 and $9.95-per-month). This came after Beck parted company with Fox News.

The mainstay of GBTV is a two-hour show similar in style to his old network offering. And the first episode of that show has now played out live to an estimated 230,000 people who have already stumped up the cash.

To mark the occasion The Wall Street Journal has taken a long, hard look at the subscription model Beck has used and asked whether the ultra-conservative host will be able to make this work.

Networks Are No More

The key quote from The WSJ article is:

“I think networks are a thing of the past. I don’t know anybody under 30 who is watching television the way I watched television. Technology has allowed people to change the way they consume the news, and we want to be where people are going.”

Beck is bang on the money there. Although many of us still watch TV, we’re increasingly watching it when we choose to, either by the likes of TiVo and Sky Plus, or on-demand online via the likes of Hulu and BBC iPlayer. And the next stage on from that is surely dedicated online TV networks built around genres, brands, or personalities.

Revenue Vs. Profit

This seems like the perfect forum for Beck. While people who hate him and his political views may have tuned in for a laugh while he was on Fox News, none will want to subscribe to GBTV, meaning all the viewers will be on his side. And as it’s effectively his own network he’ll also have complete editorial control, so expect more overblown conspiracy theories and utter nonsense falling from his lips than ever before.

The question, however, is whether Beck can make money doing this. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield estimates will generate $27 million in revenue within the first year, while Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici suggests Beck’s revenue will eventually top $100 million. However, as NewTeeVee accurately points out, this isn’t an all-profit undertaking by any means, with production and bandwidth costs likely to be high.


I actively dislike Glenn Beck, but I take my hat off to him for trying to go his own way with GBTV. And in a strange way I hope he succeeds where so many others have failed. He has at least realized, unlike so many in television, that the Internet has changed things massively and forever.

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