Quebecor Media Inc.’s new Sun News Network has seen its ratings drop by the thousands in its first couple of weeks, freelance TV columnist Bill Brioux reported in The Canadian Press Wednesday. The so-called "Fox News North" specialty service initially struck estimated ratings of about 31,000 viewers on its evening launch of April 18, but has now dropped to as little as 4,000 and 5,000 viewers in the evening slots with hosts Brian Lilley and Charles Adler, CP reported. CP said sources had provided it with overnight estimates from BBM Canada. Ezra Levant’s program “The Source” received an estimated 31,000 viewers on launch day, but those numbers fell to 12,000 on Wednesday that week, and by the following Monday had reached an estimated 19,000. CP reported that at 7 p.m. last Friday, Sun News Network journalist Theo Caldwell was drawing an estimated 11,000 viewers nationally while CBC News Network rated 263,000 and CNN 38,000 viewers in Canada. Brioux also reported that the channel has received carriage with Bell Canada and Cogeco Cable. For its launch, the channel reached carriage deals with Shaw Communications Inc. and Quebecor’s own cable distributor, Videotron Ltée. The carriers will provide channel free to cable customers for the first six months of operation. The Wire Report reported this month that Quebecor also replaced its local programming on Toronto conventional station Sun TV with that of the Sun News Network to reach more viewers in Ontario. Sun TV, as a local, over-the-air channel, must be carried on basic cable packages, according to CRTC broadcasting policy.