After reacting to Phil Robertson’s comments in a recent GQ article, A&E decided to suspend Robertson from future filming of the show indefinitely. The overwhelmingly large “Duck Dynasty” fanbase took to the Internet and began organizing an A&E boycott, which has affected the show’s ratings by a significant margin.
According to the latest television ratings numbers, “Duck Dynasty,” which held the top spot on cable television’s list with 8.885 million viewers in weeks prior, dropped to only 2.521 million viewers overnight. That’s a 71.6% decrease, enough to prove to A&E that their decision will have serious implications on their viewership.
If “Duck Dynasty” ratings continue to fall, A&E may very well be rethinking their decision to jeopardize the future of the show. In August, the Season 4 premier of the show garnered 11.8 million viewers, setting a record for the most-watched nonfiction television series in the process.
The show has undoubtedly brought outdoorsman culture to the mainstream, however, the recent controversy over Robertson’s comments may unfairly damage the public image of not only the Robertson family, but also hunters as a whole.
Read about the re-popularization of hunting thanks to “Duck Dynasty.”
Despite the network’s ratings plunge, or perhaps due to a pre-planned channel lineup, A&E aired a 10-hour “Duck Dynasty” marathon on Sunday, December 22. Monday’s schedule also includes an 8-hour block of the show.
With the holiday season in full swing, advertisements and viewership become crucial to a network’s success. It seems that A&E have shot themselves in the foot by suspending Robertson, and alienating a huge portion of the show’s fanbase, including some advertisers. That’s probably not a smart move for this time time of year.
How do you think this story will shake out? What are the next steps for the Robertson family, and what are the next steps for A&E? Leave your thoughts below in the comments.
Featured image via aetv.com