Only 4,000 viewers tune into Sun News during some time slots

Sun TV’s first-week ratings are out and they are, surprisingly, dim.

After months of buzz (positive and negative), more than 37,000 Canadians tuned in for the network’s initial half-hour, according to BBM Canada numbers in Bill Brioux’s Canadian Press story.

Ezra Levant’s slot, The Source, rated highest with an estimated 31,000 viewers that first night. The total viewership fell to 12,000 by Wednesday (Sun launched on a Monday). Less than 1,000 of those eyeballs belonged to people in the 25-54 age range.

One week after the launch, Levant’s show rose slightly to 19,000 viewers — nowhere near its first-day high.

Other slots faced a similar up-down momentum. By the end of the week, Brian Lilley and Charles Adler were drawing 5,000 and 4,000 viewers during their evening time slots, compared to 17,000 and 31,000 on the network’s debut.

Just in case you’re wondering, no, this is not considered average. CBC’s 7 p.m. slot drew 263,000 viewers across Canada on Friday (Sun, at this time, had 11,000; CNN’s Canadian audience at this time was 38,000).

And, according to Brioux’s story, even these numbers are trumped by the marquee evening newscasts in Canada, which consistently draw 1.3 million viewers each night.

So far, Sun hasn’t commented on the opening week numbers.