|Broadcast area||United States, Canada|
|Headquarters||Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
|Parent||NBCUniversal News Group|
|Launched||April 17, 1989|
|CNBC Pro||CNBC Pro|
CNBC is an American basic cable business news channel that is a division of NBCUniversal News Group, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, with both wholly owned and operated by Comcast. Headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, the network primarily carries business day coverage of U.S. and international financial markets. Following the end of the business day and on non-trading days, CNBC primarily carries financial and business-themed documentaries and reality shows.
CNBC was established on April 17, 1989, as a joint venture between NBC and Cablevision as the Consumer News and Business Channel. Two years later, in 1991, the network acquired its main competitor, the Financial News Network, a move which expanded both its distribution and its workforce. Cablevision subsequently sold its stake to NBC, giving NBC sole ownership. As of February 2015, CNBC is available to approximately 93,623,000 pay television households (80.4% of households with television) in the United States. In 2007, the network was ranked as the 19th-most valuable cable channel in the United States, worth roughly $4 billion.
In addition to the domestic U.S. feed, various localized versions of CNBC also operate, serving different regions and countries. NBCUniversal is the owner, or a minority stakeholder, or even a licensor, in many of these versions.
CNBC had its beginnings in 1979 as the Satellite Program Network (SPN), showing a low-budget mix of old movies, instructional and entertainment programs. The channel later changed its name to Tempo Television. After initially signing a letter of intent to acquire Tempo, NBC eventually opted for a deal to lease the channel's transponder in June 1988. On this platform, and under the guidance of Tom Rogers, the channel was relaunched on April 17, 1989, as the Consumer News and Business Channel. NBC and Cablevision initially operated CNBC as a 50–50 joint venture, choosing to headquarter the channel in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
CNBC had considerable difficulty getting cable carriage at first, as many providers were skeptical of placing it alongside the longer-established Financial News Network. By the winter of 1990, CNBC was only in 17 million homes – less than half of FNN's potential reach – despite having the muscle of NBC standing behind it. The original financial television concept predates both CNBC and FNN, as several independent TV stations commenced financial programming starting in the late 1960s (WCIU Chicago & KWHY Los Angeles); as Gene Inger, a Registered Investment Advisor, pioneered financial programming in several cities; notably San Francisco, Miami / Fort Lauderdale; then his part-owned WWHT Channel 68 Newark (serving the NY market). Mr. Inger (never part of FNN) disengaged operationally after the sale of Channel 68 to Miami-based Wometco; and today Channel 68 is an Univision property. (Inger was a guest on CNBC for years and as of 2019 provides online commentary from Florida.)
However, around this time, FNN encountered serious financial difficulties. After a protracted bidding war with a Dow Jones–Westinghouse Broadcasting consortium (the former's assets would be used to build a rival channel almost two decades later), CNBC acquired FNN for $154.3 million on May 21, 1991 and immediately merged the two operations, hiring around 60 of FNN's 300-strong workforce (Meanwhile, other former FNN's workforce has been hired by another rival channel from Bloomberg L.P. named Bloomberg Television). The deal increased the distribution of the newly enlarged network to over 40 million homes. Cablevision sold its 50% stake to NBC upon completion of the deal. In 2002, Cablevision would sell its 50 percent shares in Bravo to NBC for 74 billion. With the full name "Consumer News and Business Channel" dropped, the network's daytime business programming was branded "CNBC/FNN Daytime," although this was phased out by 1992.
Roger Ailes was hired as the president of CNBC in 1993, tasked by NBC CEO Bob Wright with turning around the struggling network. Under Ailes' leadership from 1993 through 1995, the $400 million network doubled in value, and its revenues tripled. In addition, Ailes oversaw the launch of a 1994 spin-off channel from CNBC, called "America's Talking."[circular reference] Ailes left CNBC and America's Talking in late 1995 when Microsoft and NBC created a joint venture to reprogram America's Talking as MSNBC.
CNBC grew during the 1990s, launching Asian and European versions of the channel in 1995 and 1996 respectively. In 1997, CNBC formed a strategic alliance with Dow Jones, including content sharing with Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal and the rebranding of the channel as "a service of NBC Universal and Dow Jones". CNBC's international channels were then merged into a 50-50 joint venture with their Dow Jones-owned rivals, London-based EBN (European Business News) and Singapore-based ABN (Asia Business News) in 1998, while ratings grew on the U.S. channel until the new millennium's dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
In 2003, CNBC moved its world headquarters from 2200 Fletcher Avenue, Fort Lee to 900 Sylvan Avenue (Route 9W) in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, which features completely digital video production and studios made by PDG Ltd of Beeston, Nottinghamshire and the FX Group of Ocoee, Florida.
NBC Universal reacquired full control of loss-making CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia from Dow Jones at the end of 2005. The licensing agreement between Dow and CNBC U.S. remained intact, however.
CNBC provides business news programming on weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time, while broadcasting talk shows, investigative reports, documentaries, infomercials, and other programs at all other times. A rolling ticker provides real-time updates on share prices on the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX, as well as market indices, news summaries, and weather updates by NBC meteorologists (prior to March 27, 2006, all of CNBC's weather reports were provided by AccuWeather). A rotating top band of the screen rotates provides real-time updates on index and commodity prices from world markets.
On October 13, 2014, coincidentally the 11th anniversary of CNBC's relocation to its current facilities in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, CNBC switched to a full 16:9 letterbox presentation, in line with its Asian and European siblings (see "On-air presentation" below for more information). As of January 4, 2016, the network's 480i standard definition feed now shows the same 16:9 HD feed on its 4:3 picture, due to the application of the AFD #10 flag.
See also: Category:CNBC original programming
CNBC provides a variety of programs throughout the business day. Live programming is broadcast on weekdays from 5:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and provides reports on U.S. businesses, updates of stock market indices and commodities prices, interviews with CEOs and business leaders, and commentary from many investment professionals. The following is the usual weekday "business day" (term used by CNBC hosts and announcers) lineup (as of April 2022, all times Eastern):
On September 17, 2007, the network launched hourly CNBC.com News Now update segments during business day programming. These short bulletins, which are around 30 seconds in length (similar to ESPN's SportsCenter Right Now), air before the start of the network's programs from Squawk on the Street through The Kudlow Report. The CNBC.com News Now update segments were discontinued as of early 2010. These bulletins were reintroduced in 2015 and were renamed CNBC News Update. They are aired hourly, on the half-hour between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The bulletins are read by Sue Herera.
CNBC also produced Nightly Business Report, a 30-minute weeknight business newscast distributed to U.S. public television stations. Launched in 1979, CNBC assumed production of the series in 2013 and ended production in December 2019. NBR was hosted by CNBC personalities Sue Herera and Bill Griffeth.
On August 24, 2020, CNBC announced that it would premiere a new evening news program hosted by former Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith, The News with Shepard Smith, on September 30. The then-upcoming program was described as being "non-partisan" and "fact-based".
CNBC's breakout hit among its original series is Mad Money. Hosted by money manager Jim Cramer, the hour-long show gives stock advice to viewers who call to the program. The show also has a popular segment called "The Lightning Round". In August 2007, Cramer's on-air tirade about the weakening economy, which was seen during the "Stop Trading" segment on Street Signs, received national attention and helped galvanize widespread support for the Federal Reserve Board to cut interest rates.
On January 24, 2007, the network launched a long-anticipated monthly newsmagazine called Business Nation, which is anchored by award-winning journalist David Faber. Each edition of the program covers three stories; a mixture of profiles, investigative pieces and features. The format of the show is structured similarly to HBO's Real Sports.
Other special or weekend programming includes CNBC on Assignment (for example, The Age of Wal-Mart), Cover to Cover, The Suze Orman Show and On the Money. Documentaries featured as part of its CNBC Originals slate have included Marijuana Inc: Inside America's Pot Industry (2009), Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage (2010), Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine (2011), Customer (Dis)Service (2012), UPS/FedEX: Inside the Package Wars (2012), and Love @ First Byte: The Secret Science of Online Dating (2012).
In May 2010, CNBC announced that it would be adding business and financial-themed movies to its Friday night lineup under the name "CNBC Cinema."
In the fall of 2011, CNBC began to brand its primetime lineup under the title CNBC Smart. Continuing its focus on documentaries focusing on business, CNBC marketed Smart as "the place where the who's who comes to learn the what's what." Since 2013, CNBC regularly shows one Premier League game at 10:00 p.m. ET.
On March 5, 2013, CNBC rebranded its primetime lineup once again as CNBC Prime, a move first announced on January 7 of the same year. Hoping to attract a more mainstream audience, the Prime block introduced business-themed reality series to the lineup with the series premieres of The Car Chasers and Treasure Detectives. CNBC planned to launch at least eight new series through the Prime block throughout 2013. Among the original reality programs airing on CNBC Prime include American Greed, Restaurant Startup, Blue Collar Millionaires, Jay Leno's Garage, The Profit, West Texas Investors Club, and Secret Lives of the Super Rich.
In 2016, CNBC announced two new reality series including Cleveland Hustles and a spin-off of The Profit titled The Partner. In 2018, CNBC announced other new series in development, such as BYOB: Be Your Own Boss, Deadly Rich (a true crime series focusing on the wealthy), Staten Island Hustle, a revival of former NBC game show Deal or No Deal, as well as renewals for American Greed, Jay Leno's Garage, and Secret Lives of the Super Rich.
CNBC has experimented with non-business programming during primetime hours with a mixed record of success, including a talk show hosted by Dennis Miller. The channel has at times rebroadcast several NBC programs, including Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Deal or No Deal, The Apprentice, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, and 1 vs. 100. Until 2017, CNBC participated in USA Network's coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show due to conflicts with WWE Raw.
See also: List of CNBC personalities
Much of CNBC's on-air talent has been with the network for some time: Sue Herera and Scott Cohn joined CNBC at its inception,. Some personalities who joined CNBC from FNN in 1991, such as Bill Griffeth and Joe Kernen, are also still with the channel. CNBC's best known personality, Closing Bell host Maria Bartiromo, made regular appearances on other NBC News broadcasts such as The Today Show and anchored the syndicated Wall Street Journal Report before she left for Fox Business Network. Other CNBC hosts such as Jim Cramer are featured on other NBCUniversal programming.
There is a fairly clear long-term correlation between the performance of global stock markets and the audience ratings of CNBC. The network had a difficult time attracting viewers in the first half of the decade, but has seen viewership increase from a 2005 bottom to record highs in 2008, coinciding with the subprime mortgage crisis. CNBC continues to possess the wealthiest audience (in terms of average income) of any television channel in the United States.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, CNBC's ratings were increasing sharply along with the stock market, often beating those of CNN during market hours. In 2000, daytime viewership of the network peaked at 343,000, around the time the Nasdaq Composite crossed 5000. However, when the dot-com bubble began to burst later that year, CNBC's viewing figures declined in tandem. The network's ratings steadily fell quarter after quarter, year after year, until bottoming in Q1 2005, with an average viewership of 134,000 during the day. From the bottom, the network, along with the markets, rebounded significantly – average daytime viewership (6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) reached a 7-year high of 310,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2008. Coinciding with the extreme market volatility of the ongoing global economic crisis, ratings hit an all-time high of 416,000 in Q3. Although the figures remain considerably less than those achieved by Fox News and CNN today, it has still had a 210% increase in viewership since the beginning of 2005. Despite the viewership slump at the turn of the decade, CNBC has remained extremely profitable: average annual revenues top $510 million while profits for the network exceeded $333 million in 2007, making CNBC a cash cow for NBC Universal and its parent company, Comcast. CNBC is the second most profitable of NBC Universal's thirteen cable channels in the United States, behind only the USA Network.
The network often sees large spikes in viewership on days of major market moves. During the week of February 27, 2007, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its seventh-largest loss ever, CNBC's continuing coverage of events resulted in its best ratings week since the market crash after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with Kudlow & Company, Mad Money, and Fast Money recording their best ratings ever in the coveted 25-54 demographic. When the financial crisis wreaked havoc in the worldwide equity markets, CNBC recorded some of the highest ratings in the network's two-decade history. For the week ending September 19, 2008, the network averaged 502,000 viewers during the "business day" (defined by the network as 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.). During this week, Squawk Box, Closing Bell, Fast Money, Mad Money and Kudlow & Company recorded their best viewership figures ever. On September 29, 2008, when the markets faced their worst single session performance since the crash of 1987, CNBC saw its best ratings day ever, with an average 726,000 viewers tuning into the network during the business day.
While daytime viewership has rebounded from its 2005 lows, primetime ratings remain weak relative to those of other news networks and CNBC continues to try and rejuvenate its evening lineup. Along with developing new program formats such as Fast Money and Mad Money, the network operates a "checkerboard" programming approach, airing various genres of shows including documentaries, town-hall style discussions and repeats of some NBC output.
When discussing the network's ratings, CNBC management and press releases regularly suggest that considerable viewership, particularly during the daytime, is done "out of home" in places such as offices, restaurants, fitness centers, financial institutions, and hotel rooms. As this demographic is not covered by Nielsen ratings, CNBC claims that the network's true viewership is considerably higher than what is measured.
On January 6, 2015, CNBC partnered with Cogent Research to calculate the viewership of its business day programming by surveying financial advisers and investors, with the goal of providing a more accurate measurement of the network's out-of-home viewership; Nielsen will still be used to track the viewership of its entertainment programming.
The CNBC Ticker is a computer simulation of ticker tape shown on the lower part of the screen during the network's live weekday business programming and on weekends during replays of Options Action (a Friday options trader's debate program following Fast Money that airs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, with the same crew as Fast Money), from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. ET (albeit with the ticker hidden during the commercial breaks), containing security and index symbols along with movements in their value, updated every 20 minutes, despite being advertised as "Real-Time".
At the right of the screen above the ticker, three vertically stacked "flippers", provides index and commodity prices (although during commercial breaks, the flippers relocate to the top of the ticker in a horizontal fashion to make room for the commercials themselves, which in turn, grow to four, except during the 30 minutes to the opening and closing bells, and during trading, where a bigger rectangular box, covering part of the ticker, usually shows the current trading status for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the fourth flipper is replaced by the CNBC bug with the current time of the six different time zones). On weekdays, the flippers are hidden during the commercial break leading to, and including the last segment of Fast Money and throughout Mad Money, as the latter show uses different graphics which cover up the space (the three flippers however, remain in the right atop the ticker during weekend 6 am ET replays of Options Action).
The music used from October 2003 to December 2005 was produced by 615 Music of Nashville, Tennessee. This music (though only edited versions of the arrangements for Street Signs and Closing Bell) continues as of February 2009 to be used by CNBC Europe, although CNBC Asia ceased using it in March 2007. CNBC Europe continued also to use "CNBC Anthem" (a.k.a. "Bold & Grand"), which was composed by Edd Kalehoff and used by CNBC U.S. between 2000 and 2002. For its main channel ident used until a relaunch on September 30, 2008, the anthem was remixed, adding the NBC chimes to the music. However, it is still used for its "Europe Update" segments during U.S. programming. The current music package is composed by James Ryan of Rampage Music New York, a company that has also created music for co-owned WNBC, also in New York City. Ryan also composed the network's 2002 music package. Willie Wilcox composed the themes for The Big Idea, Mad Money, Conversations with Michael Eisner and currently Fast Money.
CNBC's main voice-over announcer during business-day programming since 1998 is Jim Birdsall, who also works for NFL Films, and was the narrator in the commercials for pizza chain CiCi's Pizza. In addition, Birdsall is the main station announcer for KING-TV, the Tegna-owned NBC affiliate station in Seattle. The signature voice for CNBC Prime is Brian Lee. Lee also covers business-day announcer duties when Birdsall is absent.
The voice-over announcer for CNBC Europe is UK-based Philip Banks.
On October 13, 2014, CNBC switched to a full 16:9 letterbox picture, in line with its Asian and European siblings (both of which did the same thing on March 31 of that same year). As a result, both of the network's standard-definition and high-definition feeds now show the same 16:9 format. CNBC also updated its graphics package, replacing what had been used since March 1, 2010. The "flippers", which appeared across the top of the screen from December 19, 2005 to October 10, 2014, were moved back to the lower right of the screen. Its lower third are now similar to CNBC Asia and CNBC Europe, the former updated its own graphics package on February 9, 2015, with CNBC Europe following suit exactly a month later (March 9, 2015). In breaking news mode, the background color is changed from blue to red.
The graphics are designed by Sweden-based Magoo 3D studios.
Since December 1997, the network has held a strategic alliance with the publishing and financial information firm Dow Jones & Company. Under the agreement, CNBC has extensive access to the journalism of such outlets as MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and Barron's, with their reporters and editorial staff making frequent appearances on the channel. Some former CNBC programs have included Dow Jones branding, while the network currently produces and syndicates the weekly Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo. CNBC's current deal with Dow Jones expired in 2012, and its continuation has been the subject of some uncertainty following the 2007 acquisition of Dow by News Corporation, parent company of rival financial network Fox Business until the channel was spun off to 21st Century Fox in 2013 and eventually to Fox Corporation in 2019, which had been started just two months prior and whose resources have been used to build up Fox Business. News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch has stated that the current agreement "covers actual news and access to reporters on business news" only, and that Fox and Dow Jones are free to cooperate on other issues.
CNBC has also held a content deal with The New York Times since January 2008, which has widely been seen as an attempt by both parties to take on increased competition from News Corporation. Under the agreement, CNBC has access to the business coverage of the Times, while video from CNBC.com is featured on the Times' website. The station's video clips and other content are also distributed through Yahoo! Finance and, as of May 2008, AOL Money & Finance.
The network's live market prices, economic data and other statistics are largely provided by Thomson Reuters (Reuters and Thomson Financial prior to their 2008 merger). Since September 2006, CNBC has operated its own stock market index in conjunction with London's FTSE Group. The FTSE CNBC Global 300 includes the fifteen largest companies from each of the sectors of the Industry Classification Benchmark as well as the thirty largest companies from emerging markets. Calculated continuously from 9 p.m. through to 4:10 p.m. ET each trading day, the index is referenced throughout the network's live programming, particularly on Worldwide Exchange.
The channel also maintains the "CNBC Investor Network", a series of webcam connections to the trading rooms of various independent financial institutions across the United States. The scheme was launched on October 22, 2007 and allows participating traders and strategists to appear on the network during the business day.
Main article: List of CNBC channels
CNBC has operated international versions of the channel since 1995, when CNBC Asia originally launched. CNBC Europe followed in 1996. On December 9, 1997, Dow Jones & Company and NBC announced the merger of their international business news channels. This resulted in a merger of CNBC Europe with Dow Jones' European Business News, and likewise of CNBC Asia with Asia Business News. From then (until January 2006) the international CNBC services carried the tagline "A Service of NBC (Universal) and Dow Jones" (or depending on other local partners, a variation of this tagline). Correspondents from Dow Jones Newswires contribute to the channels. On December 31, 2005, the sale by Dow Jones of its interests in the international CNBC channels took effect. On January 1, 2006, the "A Service of NBC Universal and Dow Jones" tagline was removed from the international CNBC channels, in line with this.
In 2007, CNBC Asia dropped the word "Asia" from its channel idents, on September 30, 2008, CNBC Europe similarly dropped the word "Europe" from its logo. This means the three major CNBC channels: U.S., Europe, and Asia are all known on-screen as simply CNBC.
CNBC Europe is headquartered in London, and CNBC Asia is headquartered in Singapore.
Besides CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia, the network also operates a number of local business news channels in association with other companies. These channels include Class CNBC in Italy, CNBC-e in Turkey, CNBC Arabiya in the UAE, Nikkei CNBC in Japan, CNBC TV18, CNBC Awaaz, and CNBC Baazar(A special Gujarati Language channel) in India, CNBC Pakistan in Pakistan and TVN CNBC in Poland.
CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia are rebranded in some parts of the world with tickers containing local financial information. Examples include CNBC Nordic, CNBC Singapore, CNBC Hong Kong and CNBC Australia (CNBC Australia and Singapore also produce five-minute updates at 12:55 p.m., 5:55 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. for free-to-air network, SBS TV).
In North America, CNBC World airs business programming from CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia, as well as weekly magazine programs provided by CNBC TV18 and the United Nations.
In Canada, CNBC can be seen with almost identical programming to its U.S. counterpart. However, due to Canadian programming rights, the 9:00 p.m. slot which had shown television programming in the past such as Deal or No Deal, The Apprentice, 1 vs. 100, and Heads Up Poker, as well as any and all Olympic Games coverage that the channel continues to carry, are replaced by CNBC World programming. This leads to program blackout problems. For example,The Apprentice 5 that aired April 23, 2006, was assumed to not be available anywhere for Canadians due to these blackouts. While the first airing at 9:00 p.m. ET was blacked out, the second airing at midnight ET was accidentally shown.
CNBC Africa was launched on June 1, 2007. With roughly $600 million spent on advertising in South Africa alone, the network saw a business opportunity. The network has bureaus in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and it produces nine hours of local (African) programming per business day.
The launch of the Korean language channel SBS-CNBC in January 2010 marked the fifteenth CNBC-branded channel worldwide.
On January 10, 2016, CNBC and Trans Media announced a strategic partnership that will see the creation of the Indonesian language channel CNBC Indonesia.
CNBC business news and market reports are updated hourly and available on demand on Smart Speakers including Amazon Echo devices with Alexa, Google Home and app devices with Google Assistant, and on Apple Siri voice interfaces including iPhones. Many CNBC TV shows such as Mad Money and American Greed are available as podcasts for on-demand listening. Original content podcasts include "Strange Success" with Jane Wells, "Speakeasy" with John Harwood, and "Fort Knox" with Jon Fortt.
CNBC offers a website, which was run by MSN from 2001 to 2006. It also offers mobile apps for iPad/iOS, Apple TV, and Android.
It offers an online subscription service, CNBC Pro, whereby users can watch streaming media from CNBC TV online.
CNBC’s online video operations generated an all-time high of 1.92 billion total digital video starts across platforms in 2020.
CNBC HD, a 1080i high-definition television simulcast of CNBC, was launched on October 10, 2007. It first launched on DirecTV.
CNBC has a licensing partnership with Paradies Lagardère to operate retail locations in United States airports branded as CNBC News, CNBC Express, and CNBC SmartShop. The stores sell CNBC-branded merchandise as well as snacks and drinks.
See also: Jon Stewart's 2009 criticism of CNBC
Further information: NBC Sports on CNBC