Fox Biz Ratings: On Par With Fox News During Its Early Months

By Chris Ariens 

The first public ratings release of Fox Business shows the 9-month-old network is performing close to what Fox News Channel was doing in its first year.

In July 1997 Fox News averaged 14,000 viewers in Total Day and 25,000 viewers in prime time. The network launched in October 1996. Fox Business is averaging about 8,000 in business day and 20,000 in prime time. FNC is also a general interest news channel while FBN is niche network, in a much more crowded, and mostly digital, environment. FBN is only on one analog cable system: NYC’s Time Warner.

FBN is still far behind market leader CNBC. The NBCU channel averages 284,000 viewers during the day and 191,000 in prime time. FBN is available in close to 40 million homes while CNBC is in 94 million. “It’s a slow-growing business, but it is a growing business,” EVP Kevin Magee told Howard Kurtz. “I don’t think anybody here expected us to be on top by the first summer, and we’re not.” Anyone who believed otherwise, he said, is “probably delusional.”

Bloomberg TV has been on the air since 1994 and still doesn’t release its ratings. Still, Magee tells Kurtz, “Our numbers are nothing to crow about yet.”