Glenn Beck to take his show online, charge a fee


Will you pay a fee to watch Glenn Beck’s show online? If you want to watch his show after he leaves Fox News, you’ll have to. The New York Times reported that it will cost between $5 and $10, but doesn’t specify whether that’s per episode, per week or per month.

On Tuesday, Mr. Beck will announce a first-of-its-kind effort to take a popular — but also fiercely polarizing — television show and turn it into its own subscription enterprise. It is an adaptation of the business models of both HBO and Netflix for one man’s personal brand — and a huge risk, as he and his staff members acknowledged in interviews in recent days.

“I think we might be a little early,” Mr. Beck said of his plan for the Internet network, called GBTV, which will cost $5 to $10. “But I’d rather be ahead of the pack than part of it.”

The business decision by Mr. Beck’s company, Mercury Radio Arts, hinges on an expectation that more and more people will figure out how to view online shows on their TV sets through set-top boxes and video game consoles — and that they will subscribe directly to their favorite brands.

Eventually, Mr. Beck said, his goal is to have an array of scripted and unscripted shows alongside his own daily show, which will simply be titled “Glenn Beck” and will run for two hours on weekday afternoons.

The show will be broadcast at 5 PM on weekdays, the same time his current show airs. I doubt I’ll be tuning in. I rarely watch his Fox show anymore because it’s on at an inconvenient time. His online show will be available after it airs “on demand” but I doubt I’ll spend money to watch. $5 to $10 sounds a bit high, especially with so much free content available on the net.

Addendum: Page two of the article offers specifics on pricing:

GBTV will cost $4.95 a month for subscribers who want to watch only Mr. Beck’s two-hour show, and $9.95 a month for subscribers who want access to all of GBTV. “We want to create a network that has more than just Glenn’s show,” Mr. Balfe said, talking generally but ambitiously about acquiring scripted programming in the future — assuming enough subscribers sign up to justify the costs.