Instead, they were turned to the cable channel CNBC, watching verbal fisticuffs that could rival anything on reality TV, a spat between two hedge fund magnates with a decade-long grudge against each other.
Nominally, the two titans, Carl C. Icahn and William A. Ackman, called into CNBC to discuss their contrasting views on Herbalife, a nutritional supplements company. Instead, they slung invective back and forth in a fight that riveted traders and Twitter alike.
How sophisticated was the debate?
“He’s like a crybaby in the schoolyard,” Mr. Icahn thundered in his thick Queens accent. He later declared that his foe was “the quintessential example that if you want a friend on Wall Street, get a dog.”
“This is not an honest guy who keeps his word,” Mr. Ackman later shot back. “This is a guy who takes advantage of little people.”