http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/business/media/04fox.html?ref=media How many people are watching the new Fox Business Network? About 6,300, on average, on any given weekday, according to early estimates compiled by Nielsen Media Research. By contrast, Fox Businessâs chief competitor, CNBC, attracted about 283,000 viewers each weekday from Oct. 15 through Dec. 14, the first two months that Fox Business was on the air, according to Nielsenâs calculations. While Nielsen, at the networkâs request, has measured the viewership of Fox Business since its premiere, Nielsen is not permitted to release or even confirm those figures publicly. That is because they are so low as to fall below Nielsenâs minimum standards for reporting, said Gary Holmes, a Nielsen spokesman. Both Fox and CNBC, however, have purchased versions of those weekly ratings reports from Nielsen, and a person who saw those internal reports vouched for their contents on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity. Mr. Holmes did confirm that Fox Business would have to reach a minimum threshold of 35,000 viewers â representing a tenth of a ratings point â before it could disclose the networkâs audience publicly. On the one hand, the low ratings for Fox Business during its first two months â a period in which it attracted ratings lower than most local television stations, let alone cable networks â are not surprising, given its upstart status. And while CNBC is available in about 90 million homes, Fox Business is thus far available in about 30 million. But few new channels have been able to draw on the vast promotional resources that are at the disposal of Fox Business, which is part of the News Corporation, Rupert Murdochâs $70 billion global media empire. (CNBC is a unit of NBC Universal, which is a part of General Electric.) In an advertising campaign that has sprawled across television screens, billboards and magazine pages, the News Corporation has sought to hitch the fortunes of Fox Business directly to Fox News Channel, which draws millions of viewers a day. Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox Business, holds the same title at Fox News, and Neil Cavuto, a star anchor of Fox Business, was already a star on Fox News. Spurred by Mr. Ailes, who has said he would not settle for âanything short of a revolution,â Fox Business has squared off against CNBC with characteristic bravado. On its first day, a Fox correspondent stood outside CNBC headquarters in suburban New Jersey to declare that it was âhunting season.â Thus far, at least, CNBC would seem to have easily eluded Foxâs cross hairs. Reached Thursday, a CNBC spokesman, Brian Steel, declined comment. A spokeswoman for Fox Business, Irena Briganti, did not answer phone and e-mail messages Thursday seeking comment. To be sure, the Nielsen estimates are just that â estimates. Nielsen calculates a networkâs overall viewership based on a sampling of about 13,000 households nationally. To arrive at the 6,300 average viewership for Fox Business, Nielsen would have detected only a handful of viewers in those Nielsen households. The channelâs viewership, however low, remained relatively stable over that period. The Nielsen figures estimated that Fox Business reached a high of about 9,000 viewers during the week of Dec. 10, the last for which figures were available, and a low of 4,000 during the week of Oct. 29. All of the figures are averages from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time weekdays. (Moreover, ratings for Fox and CNBC do not reflect viewership in the workplace, which are important for channels aimed at a business audience.) A comparison of the start of Fox Business Network with that of Fox News (which began in 1996) and CNBC (1989) is complicated because those networks â in contrast to Fox Business â did not ask Nielsen to measure their viewership during their start-up months.