Food Network's Ratings Continue to Fall After Dumping Paula Deen Businessweek

Food Network ratings continue to slip after the cable channel cut Paula Deen from its programming lineup, although it's hard to say whether fan backlash from the decision is to blame, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Ratings at Food Network were down in several key segments from June 24 to Oct. 6 when compared with the same time period in 2012. Total viewers slipped 6% during the time frame, and with the 18-49 group, ratings were down 13% in prime time, the piece notes.

The decline could be due to factors other than fan outrage at Deen's treatment by Food Network, the story notes.

"There’s an ebb and flow to these types of networks,” says Horizon Media Senior Vice President Brad Adgate. “But I think they’re still pretty solid. They are the category leader. They have over a million viewers every night. Advertisers love it. And they’ve invested a lot in new programming. If they put on a couple of shows that click, they’ll be right back.”