Trump's media ambitions may look more like The Blaze than Fox News

But in a crowded TV landscape, it’s hard for new channels to gain traction. So far, Viceland has just 45,000 prime-time viewers among 18-to-49-year-olds, according to the Wall Street Journal. Winfrey’s network took more than four years to turn a quarterly profit and may have lost as much as $330 million during that time.

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Starting a TV network “is a very big undertaking,” said Christopher Ruddy, the founder of conservative media company Newsmax Media, which started a 24-hour cable news channel two years ago. “You need really big financial resources to go in.”

There’s also no guarantee pay-TV providers like Comcast Corp. would carry Trump’s channel. In fact, while cable operators typically pay programmers to carry their networks, Trump could have to pay the operators to get on their systems. When Rupert Murdoch started Fox News in the 1990s, he reportedly paid about $300 million to get cable operators to carry the network.

And if pay-TV operators agree to carry Trump’s channel, he’d still need to invest in programming.

“The problem is people want to tune in to Donald Trump,” Ruddy said. “But can Donald be on all the time? You still need to fill it up with programming that would make his audience happy. And that’s where the big costs come in.”

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