We’ve learned that nobody reads or watches Fusion, but as the legend goes, Felix Salmon’s dream journal still harbors a plan to get rich by making people, via their cable companies, pay for its television network. It sounds like a fine enough scheme as any in our current media wasteland, but they better get moving on it before television watchers are able to reject the channel outright.
Today, Variety published a survey of just over 3,000 people conducted by a market research company called Digitalsmiths. Respondents were asked which cable networks they would be willing to pay for if television moved to an á la carte model. Here are the results (if you expand the image it’s much more legible):
The stations people would be most willing to pay for are about what you would expect—the big four (and free) networks, plus reliable and established cable channels like The Discovery Channel, Comedy Central and the Food Network.
As the graph slopes downward you begin to encounter cable news channels, midsize entertainment offerings (E!, MTV), niche channels (Cartoon Network, NFL Network) and newly created, but well moneyed, stations (Fox Sports 1, Oprah’s OWN). As you slide even further, you start seeing channels you forgot existed (Nick Jr.) or have never heard of (The Sportsman Network), that less than 1 in 10 people would be willing to shell out money for. Then there are the 24-hour infomercial networks and Spanish language channels.
Then, if you keep going, all the way to the very end, right next to the number zero, is the belle of the online media ball: Fusion, which, according to this survey, would seem to have as much luck pushing itself on the average American as a door-to-door vacuum salesman.
Of course, if nearly 70 percent of Americans are willing to buy ABC then they may end up paying for Fusion whether they like it or not (and they don’t!). It is better to be lucky than good, right?
[image of Magic Kingdom via Getty]