Sun goes up, Sun goes down

Hard to imagine a new network getting more pre-launch publicity than Sun News Network. The so-called “Fox News North” generated plenty of press in the months leading up to its April 18 start. Not just in the main stream press, or across Sun News owner Quebecor’s Sun Media chain, but the launch got plenty of play on Facebook sites and Twitter feeds and, yes, especially on blogs like this one.
Or was it just a media story? Despite launching in the middle of a federal election when news appetites are generally peaked, SNN has barely created a ripple in the ratings. After scoring in the 30,000 to 40,000 range on opening day, the service has slipped down to 10,000 to 20,000 viewers per hour across Canada.
Or worse. This past Sunday in prime time, SNN’s Charles Adler drew 7,000 viewers at 8ET, Brian Lilley 4,000 at 9 and Ezra Levant 2,000 overnight, estimated 2+ viewers at 10 p.m.
Compare that to CBC News Network’s overnight, estimated 187,000 viewer tally Sunday at 9 and soon even Dr. Ho is going to start asking for make goods on those insole ads.
It is only one week, and most of us are watching hockey (3.82 million watched Vancouver’s Game Seven overtime win Tuesday night on CBC), but the low, community programming-level SNN numbers likely have not sat well with the brass in Quebec. In a chain-wide editorial penned by no less than parent company CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau, Quebecor tried to own the story Wednesday by claiming a Conservative operative deliberately led Sun News astray with a phony news tip.
For a closer look at the first week Sun News Network numbers, check this story I filed today for The Canadian Press.

2 Responses to “Sun goes up, Sun goes down”

  1. With viewership that low, shows cost more than they make, even if you write off the millions spent in startup costs. I wonder if Quebecor will disclose Sun News’s losses in its next earnings report, and what investors will ask them in the conference call.

  2. Hey Bill,

    Thanks for the link to PKP’s editorial.
    I know that proofreaders are no longer used in the newspaper industry, but it seems that they are becoming history challenged as well.

    Mr. Peladeau in his opening line quoted the Greek playwright Aeschylus and stated that it was written ‘over 1,500 years ago.’ that is correct, however; it was actually at least 2,500 years ago.
    (Aeschylus c.525-456 B.C.)
    It would seem someone needs to do some fact checking.


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