For one afternoon this week, it was possible to obtain a reliable estimate for how many people were watching the Fox Business Network, at least at home.
That figure was 81,000, and it represented the average number of people watching for any given hour from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday, according to Nielsen Media Research. The figure is a milestone for the nearly year-old channel, which had never drawn an audience large enough to be considered statistically reliable by Nielsen for an extended time period.
Still, the achievement was relatively small and fleeting: during the same period, on Monday, as the House rejected a bailout bill and the Dow closed down nearly 778 points, CNBC drew an average of nearly 900,000 viewers, 10 times that for Fox Business.
Two general-interest news channels that covered the markets extensively averaged more than both. The Fox News Channel had 2.68 million viewers, and CNN had 1.88 million.
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