It hardly matters if your viewer numbers are down if you’re keeping all their money for yourself — instead of making it for Fox and just getting a cut:
[Glenn Beck's new GBTV] venture is still in its early stages, but industry analysts are already noting that News Corp. may have cause for concern. According to a company source, GBTV launched with at least 230,000 subscribers, most of them paying $9.95 per month for access to the site via computer or Roku. That’s a sliver of Beck’s peak Fox News audience of 2.6 million, but it easily trumps the ratings for Winfrey’s OWN network (156,000 on average in June) and Keith Olbermann’s show on Current TV (114,000 in early September).
What’s more, the venerable research firm BTIG envisions Beck’s subscribers eventually numbering close to 1 million—an audience that would bring in more than $100 million in annual subscription revenues to the network and put Fox’s advertisers on notice that there’s another show in town.
Also: it’s more trouble to watch Beck’s GBTV (which is on your computer and you have to pay, log in, etc) than to turn on OWN on your TV set.
There is effort (and some awkwardness — who really wants to watch TV on their computer ?) involved on the viewer’s choice, so one might argue that Beck has more devoted viewers, not just “more” (possibly random ones), period.