More grim than having to employ Ms Oakeshott? Sadly, yes it is:not only have viewer numbers continued to fall, advertisers are also moving in the direction of away, with insufficient new ones prepared to come on board, such is the effectiveness of the campaign waged by Stop Funding Hate, Ripples, Led By Donkeys, and Sleeping Giants UK. GB News is like Siberia - they know where it is, but no-one wants to go there.
You think I jest? There are so few advertisers that during some “commercial breaks”, GB News is reduced to just showing a placeholder showing the channel’s logo and telling anyone watching “We’ll be back soon”. This might not be such a blow to its finances, were the viewer numbers, and those watching via YouTube, keeping up. But they are not.
After former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage joined the less than stellar line-up of hosts, there was rejoicing as he twice beat the BBC News Channel (with whom GB News is not competing, as the latter is not a news channel, but a propaganda outlet). Now, those days of 100,000 plus viewers are over. And it’s easy to see why.
Farage has been reduced to scraping the barrel with his guests (pace Christoper Biggins and Ann Widdecombe). He keeps on whining about migrants, when he isn’t whining about Joe Biden. No-one in the UK cares what Farage thinks about Biden. So when he brings on right-wingers from the USA - like Candace Owens and Sean Spicer - viewers turn off.
Viewers are starting to say that, too
So it is that free sheet Metro has told readers “Nigel Farage’s GB News show loses over half its viewers in just two weeks … The highest number of viewers tuning into Farage’s self-titled show last week was around 43,900, for the Monday evening edition. But compared to the week of August 9 (the last week available), it shows a huge decline in figures with the highest on a Wednesday night, with 137,300 watching according to official BARB ratings”. Now, he’s doing no better than the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton.
Mr Thirsty was not even top dog of the GB News kennel: “He was knocked off the top spot by The Political Correction show on Sunday night, which saw the highest audience of the week, at 63,700 tuning in”. It’s worse on social media, as the Tweeter known as Joe Public pointed out: “GB News are not doing well online either, they average about 5k views per a video on their YouTube channel even though they claim to be a ‘digital media business that has a TV channel attached’ - Press Gazette, 21st July 2021”.
GB News needs an average audience not unadjacent to 150,000. It needs to have advertisers on board. It needs a six-figure number of subscribers, those who are prepared to pay a little for extra content. Right now, the audience isn’t getting above a third of that required, the big advertisers have left, and the number of paying subscribers is zero.
For now, its backers will keep on putting up the money. But for how much longer?
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