New Directions, New Challenges
Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook
Chapter 13: Financial Challenges of 24-Hour News Channels
← 164 | 165 →CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Financial Challenges of 24-Hour News Channels
ROBERT G. PICARD
News channels, like all broadcast channels, face fundamental cost and revenue challenges that require them to produce and make available content at costs that can be covered by their sources of revenue. News channels typically operate at lower cost per hour for programming than other channels, however, because they do not have to invest in risky—but highly demanded—original drama and comedy or to engage in heavy rights competition for sports rights and desirable contemporary films.
The amount of money required to operate a 24-hour news channel varies significantly among news channels because it is dependent upon the scale and scope of operations, where the broadcasts will be distributed, and the number of languages in which programming is produced. Costs are thus influenced by whether it is a domestic or international operation, who pays for the distribution of the channel, how much of the programming involves live broadcasts, how much live remote broadcasting is undertaken that requires use of satellite links, the number of news packages reused during the broadcast, repetitious use of broadcasts from earlier in the day, the number of bureaus and correspondents, the extent of multiplatform operation, and other operational factors.
Nonetheless, the basic financial requirements for operating a 24-hour news channel are rather straightforward. An international broadcaster, or one in a large nation, will require £20–35 million ($30–50...
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