The NYTimes’ Brian Stelter and Jacques Steinberg report on early ratings estimates for Fox Business Network: “About 6,300, on average, on any given weekday.”
Quoting the story: “Nielsen is not permitted to release or even confirm those figures publicly. That is because they are so low as to fall below Nielsen’s minimum standards for reporting.”
The day after the network launched, a Fox Business Network spokesman told TVNewser FBN would start getting internal ratings data in December, and that it would take until April at the earliest for data to be released publicly. The network, with its 30 million subscribers, is now in what is called the “fledgling subscription” stage. FBN’s chief competitor CNBC also purchased the data from Nielsen.
During the October interview, the spokesperson also told me Fox News Channel was not rated by Nielsen until April, 1997, six months after it launched.
However, there might be another indication of the number of eyeballs on FBN: infomercials. The network, like CNBC, airs half-hour long product advertisements during some hours. An insider tells TVNewser, on more than one occasion when an infomercial aired on FBN, the phones at the call center meant to take orders from interested buyers, remained silent.
>More: Interestingly (or perhaps not), The Times story did not have a quote from an FBN executive or spokesperson. The following newspaper stories on the ratings, however, did.